ASCO: Ramucirumab Plus Pembrolizumab Promising in NSCLC


THURSDAY, June 9, 2022 — Early research shows that overall survival is longer with ramucirumab and pembrolizumab (RP) compared with an investigator’s choice standard-of-care (SOC) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

Karen L. Reckamp, M.D., from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues randomly assigned patients with advanced NSCLC after progression on prior immune checkpoint inhibition and platinum-based doublet chemotherapy to receive RP or SOC. The primary objective was to compare overall survival among 136 eligible patients (69 randomly assigned to RP and 67 to SOC, respectively).

The researchers observed a significant improvement in overall survival with RP. Median overall survival was 14.5 and 11.6 months for RP and SOC, respectively. In most subgroups, overall survival benefit for RP was seen. Investigator-assessed progression-free survival did not differ between the groups, nor did response rates (22 and 28 percent for RP and SOC, respectively). Grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 42 and 60 percent of patients in the RP and SOC groups, respectively.

“These results represent a potential paradigm-changing regimen in a setting where limited options exist,” Reckamp said in a statement. “A phase 3 trial of the combination is warranted to better evaluate the impact.”

The study was funded in part by Eli Lilly and Merck, the manufacturers of ramucirumab and pembrolizumab, respectively.


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