Novocure (NSDQ:NVCR) today touted an analysis published in JAMA Oncology showing that its Optune-temozolomide combination helped newly-diagnosed glioblastoma patients live longer without hurting their quality of life.
In a Phase III pivotal trial, researchers found that a higher proportion of patients treated with Optune and temozolomide reported stable or improved quality of life measures compared to those treated with just temozolomide.
“When treating cancer patients, we must determine the net clinical benefit before introducing new or additional treatments that improve survival compared to standard of care,” lead author Dr. Martin Taphoorn said in prepared remarks.
“Apart from expected itchy skin reactions due to the Optune device, health-related quality of life was maintained in several important predefined scales for a longer period of time in patients treated with Optune together with temozolomide compared to patients treated with temozolomide alone, due to their longer progression-free survival time. The combined results of significantly improved survival together with extended duration of stable health-related quality of life supports the addition of Optune to temozolomide as a standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed GBM.”
Researchers assessed health-related quality of life by giving the study participants a questionnaire at the beginning of the trial and every three months after. Out of the 695 patients who participated in the study, 639 of them filled out the questionnaire.
Health-related quality of life was evaluated based on nine measures – global health status, physical, cognitive, role, social and emotional functioning, itchy skin, pain and weakness of legs.
More people treated with the company’s combination therapy reported stable or improved scores for global health status, pain, physical functioning and leg weakness compared to those treated with just temozolomide. For example, 57% of people in the Optune-temozolomide group reported stable or improved pain scores compared to 36% in the temozolomide arm.
The time it took for patients’ quality of life to decline more than 10 points was not significantly different between the two groups, with the exception of pain and itchy skin.
The group treated with the Optune-temozolomide combo cited itchy skin as a reason for deterioration after 8.2 months, compared to 14.4 months for those treated with temozolomide.
In December, Novocure touted the final analysis of its Phase III pivotal trial, which showed that its Optune-temozolomide combo extended overall survival and progression-free survival by 37% compared to temozolomide alone.
Novocure’s Optune system delivers low-intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields, called “Tumor Treating Fields,” to inhibit cancer cell replication.