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Camille Hertzka on Real-World Implications of Durvalumab, Increasing Diversity in Clinical Trials


Camille Hertzka, vice president and head of Oncology, US Medical, AstraZeneca, speaks about the real-world data collection of durvalumab to assess applicability in patients not involved in the PACIFIC trial, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in clinical trials moving forward.

Data collection is currently underway assessing the real-world efficacy of durvalumab in patient populations who were not involved in the PACIFIC trial, said Camille Hertzka, vice president and head of Oncology, US Medical, AstraZeneca.


Will more be done to understand how the PACIFIC regimen works for Black patients, given their lack of representation in the trial?

The PACIFIC regimen has been approved a couple of years now by the FDA, and so we are collecting data in the real-world setting to be able to address the question of all the different patient populations who are not included in the PACIFIC trial. So, that really goes in all different sorts of areas, including comorbidities and minorities.

Now, the question that you're asking is really important because the pandemic has really put into light some of the challenges that minorities had to access health care, and a relatively high level of quality of care. And I think we are really all getting together as an industry, as community oncology, in being passionate about moving the needle in oncology treatment.

We're really all getting together to try to understand what are the barriers to health care for some of these patients and what are the opportunities that we can work on together to improve this. Clinical trials would be one of them.

Clinical trials, to me, there are 2 aspects with that. One is if you include minorities in clinical trials, you obviously have a patient population that is representative of the real-world, which was your question. That's a very important one, and we need to understand the efficacy of our treatments in the real patient population that will at the end receive the treatment.

If I take immunotherapy, we've seen across multiple trials, across multiple patients, multiple different tumor types, that probably there is nothing specifically that would be differentiating an activity in different groups of patients depending on race and ethnicity. We still need to look at this, and we still need to make sure that we have this information, but there is nothing that is really giving us any worry on this aspect. However, we still need to do this in a consistent way for all the different molecules we have.

The other thing that I am personally really interested in when we talk about clinical trials is that it can bring innovation to patients and to more patients. And that's the reason why we absolutely need to do more in this field. And I can say I'm quite proud that AstraZeneca is taking the lead in multiple activities, working with a lot of external partners to tackle this issue and transform it into an opportunity for patients.


Spigel D. Faivre-Finn C, Gray JE, et al. Five-year survival outcomes with durvalumab after chemoradiotherapy in unresectable stage III NSCLC: An update from the PACIFIC trial. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39:(suppl 15; abstr 8511). doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.8511

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