The trial tested Lynparza tablets as an initial maintenance treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer patients, whose disease had not progressed after chemotherapy.
Results showed “statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement” in the time patients could live without their disease getting worse by an average of 7.4 months on Lynparza, compared to 3.8 months for those on placebo.
More than twice as many patients showed no disease progression both at one year and two years after starting to take Lynparza.
José Baselga, executive vice president of oncology research and development, said: "These unprecedented results raise new hope for patients that have seen little progress over a long period of time.”
He said AstraZeneca is now working with regulatory authorities to bring Lynparza to patients “as quickly as possible”.
Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of the most common cancers with less than 3% of patients surviving more than five years after diagnosis.
Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is difficult because there are usually no symptoms until it is too late. About 80% of patients are diagnosed at the metastatic stage.
In 2018, there were 458,918 new cases of pancreatic cancer worldwide.