A Randomized Phase II Study Comparing Nivolumab With Carboplatin-Pemetrexed for Patients WithEGFRMutation–Positive Nonsquamous Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer Who Acquire Resistance to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors Not Due to a Secondary T790M Mutation: Rationale and Protocol Design for the WJOG8515L Study

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Antibodies to programmed cell death–1 (PD-1), such as nivolumab, have shown promising clinical activity in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but their efficacy appears to be less pronounced in patients with such tumors harboring epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR) mutations. Recent findings suggest that patients with EGFR mutation–positive NSCLC who develop resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) due to mechanisms other than acquisition of the secondary T790M mutation of EGFR are more likely to benefit from nivolumab treatment, possibly as a result of a higher level of expression of the PD-1 ligand PD-L1, than are patients who are T790M-positive. The WJOG8515L study (UMIN ID: 000021133) is a randomized phase II trial to compare nivolumab with the combination of carboplatin and pemetrexed in patients with EGFR mutation–positive nonsquamous NSCLC who have developed resistance to EGFR-TKIs due to mechanisms other than T790M. Eligible patients are those with stage IV or recurrent EGFR mutation–positive NSCLC who experience disease progression after therapy with more than 1 EGFR-TKI, including gefitinib, erlotinib, or afatinib; they must show no evidence of the T790M mutation on analysis of a tumor biopsy specimen obtained after progression on such EGFR-TKI therapy, or, if T790M is detected, they must again experience progression on subsequent treatment with a third-generation EGFR-TKI. The primary endpoint is progression-free survival (PFS), and secondary end points include overall survival (OS), objective response rate, duration of response, safety, and OS and PFS according to PD-L1 expression level. Recruitment started in May 2016 and is ongoing.

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