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AstraZeneca halted a study of its lung cancer treatment Tagrisso after observing what the company called an “overwhelming” benefit, a result that could significantly expand the use of the blockbuster drug.

The global trial, which enrolled nearly 700 patients, was slated to run for three years but stopped after about 12 months when an independent monitoring committee looked at the data and determined that Tagrisso had already bested placebo, the company said Friday.

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