CHICAGO, June 1, 2007 -- Statistics show lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in African-Americans, with 21,550 new cases expected to be diagnosed and 16,700 deaths expected this year. Equally devastating, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic men and the second leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. Researchers at Eli Lilly and Company are actively investigating the efficacy and safety of lung cancer treatments ALIMTA (pemetrexed for injection) and GEMZAR (gemcitabine HCl for injection) in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in African-Americans, Hispanics and other diverse populations.
Two retrospective Lilly studies were unveiled today at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, Ill. They offered cursory insight into how a diverse group of patients respond to treatment with Lilly chemotherapeutic options. One study analyzed data of chemonave African-American patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC treated with GEMZAR in combination with carboplatin or paclitaxel (Taxol) versus patients taking carboplatin in combination with paclitaxel. The second study provided data from six previous trials for non-Caucasian patients with advanced or metastatic NSCLC treated with ALIMTA.
African-Americans are often underrepresented in clinical trials and, therefore, little is known about the possible impact of race on the utility of many medications, said Coleman Obasaju, M.D., Ph.D., United States oncology medical director of Lilly and the principal investigator of these two studies. Because lung cancer is a particularly devastating disease, and a growing concern in the African-American population, it was a logical starting point for our analysis.
The GEMZAR study released at ASCO analyzed overall survival data from a previous randomized Phase III trial in the treatment of NSCLC, viewing data outcomes and toxicity data of 128 African-Americans compa
Contact: Neil Hochman