Pfizer has announced positive results from four studies using targeted treatment approaches for patients with non-small cell cancer.

The ongoing trial is targeted at the company’s c-Met/ALK inhibitor, pan-HER inhibitor, axitinib and figitumumab. The results for the trials were presented at ASCO, Orlando, US.

Pfizer senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs of oncology Dr Mace Rothenberg said that they are learning that non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is not a single entity but a family of cancers driven by distinct molecular processes.

“We are using that information to develop treatments that selectively shut down these processes,” he said. “By knowing which process may be driving a particular patient’s cancer, we move one step closer to matching the right drug, in the right setting, for each patient.”

In the c-Met study, out of 19 NSCLC patients who had an EML4-ALK mutation treated with PF-02341066, ten had a partial response, with three unconfirmed. The duration of the response ranged from 2+ to 23+ weeks. Additionally, five patients have had stable disease, with the duration of response ranging from 8+ to 40 weeks.

An ongoing Phase 2 study of PF-00299804, an irreversible, oral, selective pan-HER (human epidermal growth factor receptor) inhibitor, evaluated patients with NSCLC whose tumours have progressed despite at least one chemotherapy treatment.

In pre-clinical studies, PF-00299804 has been shown to block the signalling in wild type and mutant EGFR NSCLC, including forms that are resistant to reversible HER inhibitors.

In the Axitinib in Combination with Chemotherapy study, 17 patients (34.7%) achieved an objective response, including three complete responses (6.1%) and 14 partial responses (28.6%). An additional 14 patients had stable disease for eight weeks.

A single-arm extension cohort was conducted to confirm the preliminary findings from a randomised phase II study of 156 patients, which evaluated overall response with figitumumab in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with NSCLC.