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A pill taken once a day has been shown to cut the risk of dying from lung cancer by half, according to the results from a decade-long global study, The Guardian reported.

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The drug, Osimertinib, taken after surgery was shown to reduce by 51% the risk of patients dying from the disease in addition to halving the risk of a recurrence of the deadly cancer.

“Thirty years ago, there was nothing we could do for these patients,” said Dr. Roy Herbst, the deputy director of Yale Cancer Center and lead author of the study, told The Guardian. “Now we have this potent drug.

“Fifty percent is a big deal in any disease, but certainly in a disease like lung cancer, which has typically been very resistant to therapies.”

Lung cancer accounts for about 1.8 million deaths a year worldwide

Everyone in the trial had a mutation of the EGFR gene, which is found in about a quarter of global lung cancer cases, according to the study.

Not everyone diagnosed with lung cancer is tested for the EGFR mutation, which needs to change, Herbst said.

“This further reinforces the need to identify these patients with available biomarkers at the time of diagnosis and before treatment begins,” Herbst said in the study.

According to Herbst, the pill should be the “standard of care” for the quarter of lung cancer patients worldwide with the EGFR mutation.

The worldwide study showed that 88% of patients who took the pill following surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in the lung were still alive five years later.

Osimertinib is made by AstraZeneca.