People With Thyroid Cancer in Switzerland Now Able to Benefit From New Advanced Thyroid Cancer Treatment Lenvima® (Lenvatinib)

HATFIELD, England, November 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --


Launch of a new treatment option for advanced thyroid cancer   

Lenvima(R) (lenvatinib) was launched in Switzerland on October 1st, a treatment for people with radioactive iodine refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (RAI refractory DTC).[1]  Advanced thyroid cancer is a difficult to treat condition with a poor prognosis and lenvatinib represents a significant advance for patients in Switzerland.

Lenvatinib is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic, progressive differentiated (papillary, follicular, Huerthle cell) thyroid carcinoma (DTC) refractory to radioactive iodine (RAI).[2]

In the pivotal phase III study, SELECT, Lenvatinib demonstrated a statistically significant median 18.3 months progression free survival versus 3.6 months for placebo (hazard ratio [HR] 0.21; 99% confidence interval 0.14-0.31, p65 years), region and less than or equal to1 prior VEGFR-targeted therapies and randomised 2:1 to either lenvatinib or placebo therapy (24mg/d, 28-d cycle). The primary endpoint was PFS assessed by independent radiologic review. The secondary endpoints of the study included overall response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS) and safety. Rates of complete response were 1.5% (4 patients) for the lenvatinib group and zero in the placebo group. The results for partial response were 63.2% (165 patients) in the lenvatinib group and 1.5% (2 patients) in the placebo arm. The median exposure duration was 16.1 months for lenvatinib and 3.9 months for placebo and the median time to response for lenvatinib was 2.0 months. Median OS has not yet been reached.

The six most common lenvatinib treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) of any grade were hypertension (67.8%), diarrhoea (59.4%), fatigue (59.0%), decreased appetite (50.2%), weight loss (46.4%) and nausea (41.0%). TRAEs of Grade 3 or higher (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events) included hypertension (41.8%), proteinuria (10.0%), weight loss (9.6%), diarrhoea (8.0%), and decreased appetite (5.4%).

Subgroup analyses presented at the European Thyroid Association Annual Meeting in September 2014 showed that lenvatinib maintained a PFS benefit in all pre-defined subgroups of people with progressive radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. In particular, the PFS benefit observed in 195 people with progressive radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer in Europe (lenvatinib n=131 and placebo n=64) was similar to the PFS of overall study population (HR=0.24, [95% CI, 0.16-0.35]).[13] The median PFS with lenvatinib and placebo were 18.7 months and 3.7 months respectively.  

Two recent subanalyses from the SELECT study have been presented at the Endocrine Society Congress 2015 (ENDO). The first reports the results of the open-label extension phase of SELECT and aims to assess the crossover of patients in the placebo arm to the optional open-label lenvatinib treatment period. The results highlight that patients who crossed over from the placebo arm achieved a median PFS of 12.4 months with open-label lenvatinib treatment. Although toxicities were substantial, these were generally managed with medications, dose interruption, and dose reductions.

The second abstract examines the relationship between thyroid abnormalities and their effect on the safety and efficacy outcomes in SELECT. The analysis shows that although an increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels was a frequent complication, its direct relationship to lenvatinib therapy has not been established and there is no evidence TSH levels affect tumour responses to lenvatinib treatment.

About Thyroid Cancer  

Thyroid cancer refers to cancer that forms in the tissues of the thyroid gland, located at the base of the throat near the trachea.[14] It is more common in women than in men and most are in their 40s or 50s at time of diagnosis.[15]

Thyroid cancer affects more than 52,000 people in Europe each year.[7] The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased significantly in the last decade by 69% and 65% in men and women, respectively.[16] The most common types of thyroid cancer, papillary and follicular (including Hurthle cell), are classified as differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and account for approximately 85-90% of all cases.[17],[18],[19] The remaining cases are classified as either medullary (3-4% of cases)[20] or anaplastic (1-2% of cases).[15],[16]

About Eisai Co., Ltd.  

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a leading global research and development-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. We define our corporate mission as "giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides," which we call our human health care (hhc) philosophy. With over 10,000 employees working across our global network of R&D facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, we strive to realise our hhc philosophy by delivering innovative products in multiple therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including Oncology and Neurology. 

As a global pharmaceutical company, our mission extends to patients around the world through our investment and participation in partnership-based initiatives to improve access to medicines in developing and emerging countries.

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1. European Commission Decision. Data on file. 2015

2. SPC Lenvima (august 2015)

3. European Medicines Agency, EMAR - Lenvima /003727/WC500188676.pdf Accessed: October 2015

4. Schlumberger M et al. Lenvatinib versus placebo in radioiodine refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. NEJM 2015; 372: 621-630. Available at Accessed: October 2015

5. Matsui J, et al. Multi-Kinase Inhibitor E7080 Suppresses Lymph Node and Lung Clin Cancer Res 2008;14:5459-65

6. Matsui J, et al. E7080, a novel inhibitor that targets multiple kinases, has potent antitumor activities against stem cell factor producing human small cell lung cancer H146, based on angiogenesis inhibition. Int J Cancer 2008;122:664-71

7. Okamoto K, et al. Distinct Binding Mode of Multikinase Inhibitor Lenvatinib Revealed by Biochemical Characterization. ACS Med. Chem. Lett 2015;6:89-94

8. Wu P. Small-molecule kinase inhibitors: an analysis of FDA-approved drugs. Drug Discovery Today, July 2015; 1-6

9. EUCAN 2015. Accessed: October 2015

10. Kilfoy BA et al. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Jul;20(5):525-31

11. EUCAN, Thyroid Cancer Estimated incidence, mortality & prevalence for both sexes, 2012, Available at: Accessed: October 2015

12. Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust. About Thyroid Cancer. Available at : Accessed: October 2015

13. Newbold K et al. Phase 3 study of (E7080) Lenvatinib in Differentiated Cancer of the Thyroid (SELECT): Results and subgroup analysis of patients from Europe. Presented as a digital poster at ETA 2014.  

14. National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of Health. Available at: . Accessed: October 2015

15. Brito J et al. BMJ 2013; 347

16. Cancer Research UK. Thyroid cancer incidence statistics. Available at: -cancer-incidence-statistics.  Accessed: October 2015

17. Pacini F et al. ESMO Guidelines Working Group. Ann Oncol. 2012;23(suppl 7) :vii110-vii119

18. Thyroid Cancer Basics. 2011, 2012, at: Accessed: October 2015

19. Cooper DS et al; Thyroid. 2009;19:1167-1214

20. National Cancer Institute. Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Accessed: October 2015


CONTACT: Media Enquiries: Eisai: Cressida Robson / Ben Speller, +44(0)7908314 155 / +44(0) 7908 409416,, Tonic Life Communications: Alex Davies / EmmaCoughlan, + 44 (0)7720 496 472 / +44 (0)7772 534 646,,

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