National Comprehensive Cancer Network Oncology Research Program Supports Clinical Trial for Lung Cancer

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) has announced plans to support a phase II randomized trial for lung cancer patients. The study is titled, “TH-138: Phase II randomized trial of carboplatin + pemetrexed + bevacizumab, with or without atezolizumab in stage IV nonsquamous NSCLC patients who harbor a sensitizing EGFR mutation or have never smoked.”

Joseph Treat, MD, Professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, will serve as Principal Investigator, with Hossein Borghaei, DO, and J. Nicholas Bodor, MD, PhD, also of Fox Chase Cancer Center, as co-investigators, along with Jyoti Patel, MD, incoming Assistant Director for Clinical Research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. The study is made possible through collaboration with Genentech, who provided funding and study drugs.

Research Focuses on EGFR Mutation and Never Smokers

Cigarette smoking remains the primary cause of most lung cancer cases, but nearly 20% occur in people who have never smoked.1 Those nonsmoking-related cancers generally have a different molecular profile from those in smokers, including mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and may have variable response to checkpoint inhibitors.2

This study will focus on patients whose tumors include an EGFR mutation or who are never smokers (defined as fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime). It will examine whether the anti–programmed cell death ligand 1 inhibitor atezolizumab plus carboplatin, pemetrexed, and bevacizumab will improve progression-free and overall survival in this population, as compared with carboplatin, pemetrexed, and bevacizumab.

The study is projected to take 31 months and will include more than 100 patients from across 15 to 20 cancer centers. It is open to people 18 and older who have not been previously treated with any systemic therapy other than tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

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1. Subramanian J, Govindan R: Lung cancer in never smokers: A review. J Clin Oncol 25:561-570, 2007.

2. Socinski MA, Jotte RM, Cappuzzo F, et al: Atezolizumab for first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC. N Engl J Med 378:2288-2301, 2018.