AstraZeneca has presented promising late-stage data on its investigational thyroid cancer drug vandetanib at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago.

Results from ZETA, a Phase III study in patients with advanced medullary thyroid cancer demonstated that treatment with vandetanib significantly extended progression-free survival, the primary endpoint, by demonstrating a 54% reduction in the rate of progression compared to placebo. AstraZeneca added that significant differences for vandetanib compared to placebo were also observed in secondary endpoints of objective response rate and disease control rate.

Peter Langmuir, executive director of medical science at the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, said that patients with advanced MTC “currently have few or no options for treatment once they reach this late stage of their disease”. He noted that on the basis of these results, the company will file for regulatory approval of the drug with the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

Vandetanib, then known as Zactima, had been previously studied as a treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer in combination with chemotherapy but AstraZeneca withdrew an application to the FDA and EMA last October after an updated analysis demonstrated no overall survival advantage.