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In April, AstraZeneca halted a clinical trial of its genetically targeted lung cancer drug Tagrisso based on what it called an “overwhelming benefit” observed in patients with early-stage disease. On Thursday, details from the study were revealed for the first time. AstraZeneca wasn’t exaggerating.

After two years of follow-up, 90% of the lung cancer patients given Tagrisso following surgery were alive without a recurrence of their tumors, doubling the benefit seen with patients offered a placebo. Overall, Tagrisso reduced the risk of lung cancer relapse by 83% compared to placebo — the strongest result ever reported for a clinical trial of this type.


The new Tagrisso data were released on the eve of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). A full presentation will be made Sunday during the meeting’s plenary session.

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