Boehringer Ingelheim’s Giotrif has shown a greater survival benefit than Roche’s Tarceva in previously-treated patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

According to data from the LUX-Lung 8 trial, published in The Lancet Oncology, Giotrif (afatinib) extended overall survival to a median of 7.9 months compared to 6.8 months on Tarceva (erlotinib), reducing the risk of death by 19%. 

The study also met its primary endpoint showing a significant improvement in progression-free survival over Tarceva, which is an approved and recommended treatment option for advanced SCC of the lung following treatment with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.

Treatment options are limited and this type of lung cancer is associated with a poor prognosis, with less than 5% of patients with advanced SCC surviving for five years or longer, highlighting the need for new therapeutic options.

Boehringer said on the back of the data it is preparing regulatory submissions for Giotrif as a treatment for advanced SCC; the drug is already cleared for use in several markets for EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer.