Therapy for Stage IV Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer with Driver Alterations: ASCO and OH (CCO) Joint Guideline Update

SUMMARY: The American Cancer Society estimates that for 2021, about 235,760 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed and 131,880 patients will die of the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. According to the US Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium (LCMC), two thirds of patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung, have a molecular driver abnormality. The most common oncogenic drivers in patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung are, KRAS in 25%, EGFR in 21% and ALK in 8%, as well as other mutations in BRAF, MET, HER2, AKT1 and fusions involving RET and ROS oncogenes. These mutations are mutually exclusive, and the presence of two simultaneous mutations, are rare.

The ASCO and Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) NSCLC Expert Panel updated the 2017 ASCO guideline on systemic therapy for patients with Stage IV NSCLC with driver alterations and provided evidence-based recommendations, based on a systematic review of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) from December 2015 to January 2020 and meeting abstracts from ASCO 2020.

This clinical practice guideline addresses three comprehensive clinical questions for patients with Stage IV NSCLC with driver alterations
1) What is the most effective first-line therapy?
2) What is the most effective second-line therapy?
3) Is there a role for a third-line therapy or beyond?

The guideline addresses patients with NSCLC in the following histologic or subgroups: EGFR, ALK, ROS1, BRAF, MET, RET, HER2, and NTRK. This update does not apply to patients with Stage IV NSCLC without known driver alterations and those with rarer histologies such as large cell, neuroendocrine, etc.

Summary of Key Recommendations

Recommendation 1.1: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in EGFR
֍In the first-line setting, for patients with T790M, L858R, or exon 19 deletion mutations, Osimertinib should be offered.

Recommendations 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in EGFR-if Osimertinib is not available
֍In the first-line setting, if Osimertinib is not available, Gefitinib with chemotherapy may be offered or Dacomitinib may be offered.
֍Other options that may be offered include Afatinib or Erlotinib/Bevacizumab or Erlotinib/Ramucirumab or Gefitinib, Erlotinib, or Icotinib.

Recommendation 1.6: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in EGFR
֍In the first-line setting, for patients with a Performance Status (PS) of 3, an EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) may be offered.

Recommendation 1.7: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in EGFR
֍In the first-line setting, for patients with EGFR mutations other than exon 20 insertion mutations, T790M, L858R, or exon 19 deletion alterations, Afatinib may be offered or Osimertinib may be offered or treatments outlined in the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.

Recommendation 1.8: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in EGFR
֍In the first-line setting, for patients with any activating EGFR mutation (including exon 20 insertion mutations), regardless of Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression levels, single-agent immunotherapy should not be used.

Recommendation 1.9: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in EGFR causing resistance to first- and second-generation EGFR TKIs
֍In the first-line setting, for patients with EGFR exon 20 insertion mutation causing resistance to first- and second-generation EGFR TKIs, doublet chemotherapy with or without Bevacizumab or standard treatment outlined in the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.

Recommendations 2.1 and 2.2: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in EGFR
֍In the second-line setting, for patients who did not receive Osimertinib and have a T790M mutation at the time of progressive disease, Osimertinib should be offered.
֍In the second-line setting, for patients with any EGFR mutation who have progressed on EGFR TKIs with no T790M mutation OR whose disease has progressed on Osimertinib, treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.

Recommendation 3.1: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in ALK
֍In the first-line setting, Alectinib or Brigatinib should be offered.
֍In the first-line setting, if Alectinib and Brigatinib are not available, Ceritinib or Crizotinib should be offered.

Recommendations 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3: For patients with stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in ALK
֍In the second-line setting, if Alectinib or Brigatinib was given in the first-line setting, Lorlatinib may be offered.
֍In the second-line setting, if Crizotinib was given in the first-line setting, then Alectinib, Brigatinib, or Ceritinib should be offered.
֍In the third-line setting, if Crizotinib was given in the first-line setting and Alectinib, Brigatinib, or Ceritinib in the second-line setting, then Lorlatinib may be offered or standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.

Recommendations 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in ROS1
֍In the first-line setting, Crizotinib or Entrectinib may be offered or standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered or Ceritinib or Lorlatinib may be offered.

Recommendations 6.1 and 6.2: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in ROS1
֍In the second-line setting, if ROS1-targeted therapy was given in the first-line setting, standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline should be offered.
֍In the second-line setting, if nontargeted therapy was given in the first-line setting, Crizotinib, Ceritinib, or Entrectinib may be offered.

Recommendations 7.1 and 7.2: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations with BRAF V600E mutation
֍In the first-line setting, Dabrafenib/Trametinib may be offered or standard first-line treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.

Recommendations 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations with BRAF V600E mutation
֍In the second-line setting, if previous BRAF/MEK-targeted therapy (Dabrafenib/Trametinib) was given in the first-line setting, standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline should be offered.
֍In the second-line setting, if BRAF-targeted therapy was not given in the first-line setting, Dabrafenib/Trametinib may be offered or Dabrafenib or Vemurafenib alone may be offered.
֍If previous chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or BRAF-targeted therapy were given in the first- or subsequent-line setting, standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline should be offered.

Recommendation 8.4: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations with BRAF mutations other than V600E
֍In the second-line setting, standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline should be offered.

Recommendations 9.1 and 9.2: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and MET exon 14 skipping mutation
֍In the first-line setting, for patients with an MET exon 14 skipping mutation, MET-targeted therapy with Capmatinib or Tepotinib may be offered or standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.

Recommendations 10.1 and 10.2: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and MET exon 14 skipping mutation
֍In the second-line setting, for MET abnormalities other than exon 14 skipping mutations or if MET-targeted therapy was given in the first-line setting, standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline should be offered.
֍In the second-line setting, patients with an MET exon 14 skipping mutation who previously received or were ineligible for first-line chemotherapy with or without immunotherapy (ie. if MET-targeted therapy was not given in the first-line setting), Capmatinib or Tepotinib may be offered.

Recommendations 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in RET
֍In the first-line setting, Selpercatinib may be offered or standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered or Pralsetinib may be offered.

Recommendations 12.1, 12.2, and 12.3: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in RET
֍In the second-line setting, if RET-targeted therapy was given in the first-line setting, standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.
֍In the second-line setting, if RET-targeted therapy was not given in the first-line setting, Selpercatinib may be offered or Pralsetinib may be offered.

Recommendations 13.1 and 13.2: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in NTRK
֍In the first-line setting, Entrectinib or Larotrectinib may be offered or standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.

Recommendations 14.1 and 14.2: For patients with Stage IV NSCLC and driver alterations in NTRK
֍In the second-line setting, if NTRK-targeted therapy was given in the first-line setting, standard treatment based on the ASCO/OH nondriver mutation guideline may be offered.
֍In the second-line setting, if NTRK-targeted therapy was not given in the first-line setting, Entrectinib or Larotrectinib may be offered.

Therapy for Stage IV Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer With Driver Alterations: ASCO and OH (CCO) Joint Guideline Update. Hanna NH, Robinson AG, Temin S, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39: 1040-1091

FDA Approves LORBRENA® for Advanced ALK-Positive Lung Cancer

SUMMARY: The FDA on March 3, 2021, granted regular approval to LORBRENA® (Lorlatinib) for patients with metastatic Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors are Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK)-positive, as detected by an FDA-approved test. The FDA also approved the Ventana ALK (D5F3) CDx Assay (Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.) as a companion diagnostic for LORBRENA®. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, and accounts for about 14% of all new cancers and 25% of all cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that for 2021, about 235,760 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed and 131,880 patients will die of the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. Of the three main subtypes of NSCLC, 30% are Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC), 40% are Adenocarcinomas and 10% are Large Cell Carcinomas. With changes in the cigarette composition and decline in tobacco consumption over the past several decades, Adenocarcinoma now is the most frequent histologic subtype of lung cancer.

The discovery of chromosomal rearrangements of the Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) gene in some patients with advanced NSCLC and adenocarcinoma histology, and their sensitivity to ALK inhibitors, paved the way to the development of small-molecule ALK Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors. It has become clear that appropriate, molecularly targeted therapy for tumors with a molecular abnormality, results in the best outcomes. According to the US Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium (LCMC), two thirds of patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung, have a molecular driver abnormality. The most common oncogenic drivers in patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung are, KRAS in 25%, EGFR in 21% and ALK in 8%, as well as other mutations in BRAF, HER2, AKT1 and fusions involving RET and ROS oncogenes. These mutations are mutually exclusive, and the presence of two simultaneous mutations, are rare.

ALK inhibitors include first-generation XALKORI® (Crizotinib) and second-generation ALK inhibitors such as ZYKADIA® (Ceritinib), ALECENSA® (Alectinib) and ALUNBRIG® (Brigatinib). Despite the improved efficacy of second-generation ALK inhibitors, recurrent disease due to drug resistance including CNS disease progression, can still develop.

LORBRENA® is a novel third-generation ALK inhibitor that is more potent than second-generation inhibitors, and has the broadest coverage of ALK resistance mutations that have been identified. LORBRENA® crosses the blood-brain barrier and has marked intracranial activity in previously treated patients with baseline CNS disease, including leptomeningeal disease. LORBRENA® received accelerated approval by the FDA in November 2018 for the second or third-line treatment of ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC. However, the efficacy of LORBRENA®, as compared with that of XALKORI®, as first line treatment for advanced ALK-positive NSCLC, has been unclear.

The CROWN trial is a global, open label, randomized, Phase 3 study, in which LORBRENA® was compared with XALKORI®, in patients with previously untreated ALK-positive advanced NSCLC. In this study, 296 treatment naïve advanced NSCLC patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive LORBRENA® 100 mg orally once daily (N=149) or XALKORI® 250 mg orally twice daily (N=147) in cycles of 28 days. Treatment was continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects. Eligible patients were required to have ALK-positive tumors detected by the Ventana ALK (D5F3) CDx assay. Patients with asymptomatic treated or untreated CNS metastases were eligible and had to have at least one extracranial measurable target lesion that had not been previously irradiated. Patients were stratified according to the presence of brain metastases and ethnic group (Asian or non-Asian) and crossover between the treatment groups was not permitted. The Primary end point was Progression Free Survival (PFS) as assessed by Blinded Independent Central Review (BICR). Secondary end points included independently assessed Objective Response Rate (ORR) and intracranial response.

At a planned interim analysis, treatment with LORBRENA® resulted in statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS as assessed by BICR, with a Hazard Ratio of 0.28 (P<0.001), corresponding to a 72% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death. The median PFS was not estimable in the LORBRENA® arm and was 9.3 months for those treated with XALKORI®. The percentage of patients who were alive without disease progression at 12 months was 78% in the LORBRENA® group and 39% in the XALKORI® group, and the Hazard Ratio favored LORBRENA&reg over XALKORI® across all prespecified patient subgroups. The Overall Survival data were immature at the PFS analysis.

The confirmed ORR was 76% with LORBRENA® and 58% with XALKORI®. About 70% of the patients who received LORBRENA® and 27% of those who received XALKORI® had a response that lasted at least 12 months. Additionally, treatment with LORBRENA® was associated with increased intracranial activity compared with XALKORI®. Among patients presenting with measurable brain metastases, the intracranial ORR was 82% with LORBRENA® and 23% with XALKORI®, with a intracranial Complete Response rate of 71% and 8%, respectively. The duration of intracranial response was 12 months or more in 79% and 0% of patients in the LORBRENA® and XALKORI® groups, respectively. The most common adverse events with LORBRENA® were hyperlipidemia, edema, weight gain, peripheral neuropathy, and cognitive effects.

It was concluded that treatment LORBRENA® resulted in a significantly longer Progression Free Survival and a higher frequency of intracranial response, compared to XALKORI®, among patients with previously untreated advanced ALK-positive NSCLC.

First-Line Lorlatinib or Crizotinib in Advanced ALK-Positive Lung Cancer. Shaw AT, Bauer TM, de Marinis F, et al. N Engl J Med 2020; 383:2018-2029.

Advances with First-Line Dual Immunotherapies in Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

By Dr. David Waterhouse | Sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb
Dr. Waterhouse is a paid consultant for Bristol Myers Squibb and was compensated for his role in drafting this article.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be nearly 229,000 new cases of lung cancer in the United States (US) alone in 2020 and nearly 136,000 lung cancer deaths.1 Historically, most patients present with metastatic disease and their long-term outlook is grim.2 However, significant progress has been made in recent years. In August 2020, Howlader et al reported that the population-level mortality from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the US fell sharply from 2013 to 2016.3

Based on the results from Checkmate 227 Part 1a, OPDIVO, in combination with YERVOY, is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1 (≥1%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.4-6 In addition, based on the results from Checkmate 9LA, OPDIVO, in combination with YERVOY and 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemotherapy (chemo), is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic or recurrent NSCLC, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.4,6,7

OPDIVO and YERVOY are associated with the following Warnings and Precautions: severe and fatal immune-mediated reactions including pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis with renal dysfunction, dermatologic adverse reactions, other immune-mediated adverse reactions; infusion-related reactions; complications of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); embryo-fetal toxicity; and increased mortality in patients with multiple myeloma when OPDIVO is added to a thalidomide analogue and dexamethasone, which is not recommended outside of controlled clinical trials.4 Please see additional Important Safety Information for OPDIVO and YERVOY at the end of the article and US Full Prescribing Information for OPDIVO and YERVOY at https://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi_opdivo.pdf and https://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi_yervoy.pdf.

OPDIVO® (nivolumab) is a monoclonal antibody targeting programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) that has been approved for the treatment of lung cancer.4 YERVOY® (ipilimumab) is another monoclonal antibody that works to activate the immune system by targeting cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4).6,8

Figure 1: OPDIVO and YERVOY mechanisms of action4,6,8-14

OPDIVO+YERVOY-MOAThis graphic is for demonstration purposes only.
The illustrated mechanisms may vary for each patient and may not directly correlate with clinical significance.

The phase 3 Checkmate 227 and Checkmate 9LA trials investigated OPDIVO plus YERVOY-based combinations for first-line treatment of certain NSCLC patients.4 Part 1a of Checkmate 227 investigated the effects of OPDIVO + YERVOY compared with standard chemo* among patients whose tumors expressed ≥1% programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)4 (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Checkmate 227 Part 1a study design15
Checkmate-227-Study-Design*In Checkmate 227, patients in the comparator arm received up to 4 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo q3w; NSQ: pemetrexed + carboplatin or cisplatin, with optional pemetrexed maintenance following chemo; SQ: gemcitabine + carboplatin or cisplatin.4,16,17
ALK=anaplastic lymphoma kinase; DOR=duration of response; ECOG PS=Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status; EGFR=epidermal growth factor receptor; NSQ=non-squamous; q2w=every 2 weeks; q6w=every 6 weeks; SQ=squamous.

OPDIVO + YERVOY showed a superior survival benefit compared with chemo*, with the primary analysis at a minimum follow-up of 29.3 months revealing a median overall survival (OS) of 17.1 months vs 14.9 months with chemo*, and a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67–0.94, P=0.0066 (Figure 3).4,16 The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 5.1 months (95% CI: 4.1–6.3) with OPDIVO + YERVOY and 5.6 months (95% CI: 4.6–5.8) with chemo* alone (HR=0.82; 95% CI: 0.69–0.97).4

The most frequent (≥2%) serious adverse reactions were pneumonia, diarrhea/colitis, pneumonitis, hepatitis, pulmonary embolism, adrenal insufficiency, and hypophysitis. Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 1.7% of patients; these included events of pneumonitis (4 patients), myocarditis, acute kidney injury, shock, hyperglycemia, multi-system organ failure, and renal failure.4 The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions were fatigue (44%), rash (34%), decreased appetite (31%), musculoskeletal pain (27%), diarrhea/colitis (26%), dyspnea (26%), cough (23%), hepatitis (21%), nausea (21%), and pruritus (21%).4 Please continue reading for more Important Safety Information for OPDIVO and YERVOY throughout.

Figure 3: Checkmate 227 OS for PD L1 ≥1% (extended 3-year follow-up analysis)4,15

Median-OS-Primary-Analysis-OPDIVO+YERVOY

*In Checkmate 227, patients in the comparator arm received up to 4 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo q3w; NSQ: pemetrexed + carboplatin or cisplatin, with optional pemetrexed maintenance following chemo; SQ: gemcitabine + carboplatin or cisplatin.4,16,17

At the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2020 Annual Meeting, 3-year follow-up results from this trial were reported. With a median follow-up of more than 3 years (43.1 months), this study represents the longest median follow-up of any dual immuno-oncology (I-O)-based combination in a phase 3 clinical trial in NSCLC.15 This extended follow-up analysis showed 3-year OS rates of 33% for OPDIVO + YERVOY and 22% for chemo* (Figure 3).15

At minimum follow-up of 28.3 months, the objective response rate was 36% (95% CI: 31–41), CR=5.8%, PR=30.1% with OPDIVO + YERVOY and 30% (95% CI: 26–35), CR=1.8%, PR=28.2% with chemo*.4,16,17 The median duration of response from the extended 3-year follow-up analysis was 23.2 months (95% CI: 15.2–32.2) in patients who responded to OPDIVO + YERVOY and 6.7 months (95% CI: 5.6–7.6) with chemo* (Figure 4).15

Figure 4: Checkmate 227 DOR among responders with PD L1 ≥1% (extended 3-year follow-up analysis)15

Median-DOR-OPDIVO+YERVOY

Median follow-up of 43.1 months.15
*In Checkmate 227, patients in the comparator arm received up to 4 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo q3w; NSQ: pemetrexed + carboplatin or cisplatin, with optional pemetrexed maintenance following chemo; SQ: gemcitabine + carboplatin or cisplatin.4,16,17

The 3-year data from Checkmate 227 Part 1a show the long-term durable survival of a dual immunotherapy approach.15 The FDA approved OPDIVO + YERVOY on May 15, 2020, for first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1(≥1%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations. With this approval, these patients with NSCLC can now be offered the option of dual I-O therapy.4,5

Also reported at ASCO 2020 were the results of Checkmate 9LA.18 Patients were randomized to receive either the combination of OPDIVO + YERVOY and 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo† or platinum-doublet chemo† for 4 cycles.4 This trial evaluated patients regardless of PD-L1 expression and histology (Figure 5).4

Figure 5: Checkmate 9LA study design18

Checkmate-9LA-Study-Design

†In Checkmate 9LA, patients received 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo q3w in the experimental arm, and up to 4 cycles in the comparator arm; NSQ: pemetrexed + carboplatin or cisplatin (optional pemetrexed maintenance therapy in comparator arm only); SQ: paclitaxel + carboplatin.4
q3w=every three weeks.

The trial showed a superior benefit in OS for patients treated with OPDIVO + YERVOY with limited chemo† compared to those who received chemo† alone.18 At the pre-specified interim analysis at 8.1 months, the median OS was 14.1 months vs 10.7 months (HR=0.69, 96.71% CI: 0.55-0.87, P=0.0006).4 Median PFS per blinded independent central review (BICR) at minimum follow-up of 6.5 months was 6.8 months among patients who received OPDIVO + YERVOY with chemo†, and 5.0 months among patients receiving chemo† (HR=0.70, 97.48% CI: 0.57-0.86).4 Confirmed ORR per BICR at minimum follow-up of 6.5 months was 38% (95% CI: 33-43) and 25% (95% CI: 21-30) respectively.4,18

A follow-up analysis performed at 12.7 months showed median OS of 15.6 months with OPDIVO + YERVOY with chemo† and 10.9 months with chemo† alone with HR of 0.66 (95% CI: 0.55-0.80) (Figure 6).4,18 OS was consistent across PD-L1 expression levels at minimum follow-up of 8.1 months, with median OS of 14.0 months (95% CI:13.2-NR) and 10.0 months (95% CI: 7.7-13.7) in patients treated with OPDIVO + YERVOY with limited chemo† and chemo† respectively in the PD-L1 <1% sub-population (HR=0.65), and median OS of 14.2 months (95% CI:13.1-NR) and 10.6 months (95% CI: 9.4-12.6) respectively (HR=0.67) in the PD-L1 ≥1% sub-population.19

Figure 6: Checkmate 9LA overall survival (extended follow-up)18

Checkmate-9LA-OS
Minimum follow-up of 12.7 months.
†In Checkmate 9LA, patients received 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo q3w in the experimental arm, and up to 4 cycles in the comparator arm; NSQ: pemetrexed + carboplatin or cisplatin (optional pemetrexed maintenance therapy in comparator arm only); SQ: paclitaxel + carboplatin.4

In this study, the most frequent (>2%) serious adverse reactions were pneumonia, diarrhea, febrile neutropenia, anemia, acute kidney injury, musculoskeletal pain, dyspnea, pneumonitis, and respiratory failure. Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 7 (2%) patients, and included hepatic toxicity, acute renal failure, sepsis, pneumonitis, diarrhea with hypokalemia, and massive hemoptysis in the setting of thrombocytopenia.4 The most common (>20%) adverse reactions were fatigue (49%), musculoskeletal pain (39%), nausea (32%), diarrhea (31%), rash (30%), decreased appetite (28%), constipation (21%), and pruritus (21%).4 Please continue reading for more Important Safety Information for OPDIVO and YERVOY throughout. The FDA approved OPDIVO, in combination with YERVOY and 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo, for the first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic or recurrent NSCLC with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations in May 2020.4,7

With the approval of both Checkmate 227 and Checkmate 9LA regimens as first-line therapies, I am pleased to be able to offer metastatic NSCLC patients with additional options. Checkmate 227 provides appropriate mNSCLC patients with a chemo-free, dual I-O option with long-term, durable survival. Additionally, the Checkmate 9LA regimen with dual I-O plus limited chemo† has shown superior OS, and consistent OS, regardless of PD-L1 expression in recurrent/metastatic NSCLC patients.4,18

*In Checkmate 227, patients in the comparator arm received up to 4 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo q3w; NSQ: pemetrexed + carboplatin or cisplatin, with optional pemetrexed maintenance following chemo; SQ: gemcitabine + carboplatin or cisplatin.4,16,17
†In Checkmate 9LA, patients received 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemo q3w in the experimental arm, and up to 4 cycles in the comparator arm; NSQ: pemetrexed + carboplatin or cisplatin (optional pemetrexed maintenance therapy in comparator arm only); SQ: paclitaxel + carboplatin.4

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Severe and Fatal Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions

Immune-mediated adverse reactions listed herein may not include all possible severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions.

Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue. While immune-mediated adverse reactions usually manifest during treatment, they can also occur after discontinuation of OPDIVO or YERVOY. Early identification and management are essential to ensure safe use of OPDIVO and YERVOY. Monitor for signs and symptoms that may be clinical manifestations of underlying immune-mediated adverse reactions. Evaluate clinical chemistries including liver enzymes, creatinine, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level, and thyroid function at baseline and periodically during treatment with OPDIVO and before each dose of YERVOY. In cases of suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, initiate appropriate workup to exclude alternative etiologies, including infection. Institute medical management promptly, including specialty consultation as appropriate.

Withhold or permanently discontinue OPDIVO and YERVOY depending on severity (please see section 2 Dosage and Administration in the accompanying Full Prescribing Information). In general, if OPDIVO or YERVOY interruption or discontinuation is required, administer systemic corticosteroid therapy (1 to 2 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) until improvement to Grade 1 or less. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Consider administration of other systemic immunosuppressants in patients whose immune-mediated adverse reactions are not controlled with corticosteroid therapy. Toxicity management guidelines for adverse reactions that do not necessarily require systemic steroids (e.g., endocrinopathies and dermatologic reactions) are discussed below.

Immune-Mediated Pneumonitis

OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis. The incidence of pneumonitis is higher in patients who have received prior thoracic radiation. In NSCLC patients receiving OPDIVO 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks with YERVOY 1 mg/kg every 6 weeks, immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 9% (50/576) of patients, including Grade 4 (0.5%), Grade 3 (3.5%), and Grade 2 (4.0%). Four patients (0.7%) died due to pneumonitis.

Immune-Mediated Colitis

OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause immune-mediated colitis, which may be fatal. A common symptom included in the definition of colitis was diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies.

Immune-Mediated Hepatitis

OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause immune-mediated hepatitis.

Immune-Mediated Endocrinopathies

OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency, immune-mediated hypophysitis, immune-mediated thyroid disorders, and Type 1 diabetes mellitus, which can present with diabetic ketoacidosis. Withhold OPDIVO and YERVOY depending on severity (please see section 2 Dosage and Administration in the accompanying Full Prescribing Information). For Grade 2 or higher adrenal insufficiency, initiate symptomatic treatment, including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Hypophysitis can present with acute symptoms associated with mass effect such as headache, photophobia, or visual field defects. Hypophysitis can cause hypopituitarism; initiate hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Thyroiditis can present with or without endocrinopathy. Hypothyroidism can follow hyperthyroidism; initiate hormone replacement or medical management as clinically indicated. Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes; initiate treatment with insulin as clinically indicated.

Immune-Mediated Nephritis with Renal Dysfunction

OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause immune-mediated nephritis.

Immune-Mediated Dermatologic Adverse Reactions

OPDIVO can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis. Exfoliative dermatitis, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) has occurred with PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate nonexfoliative rashes.

YERVOY can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis, including bullous and exfoliative dermatitis, SJS, TEN, and DRESS. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate non-bullous/exfoliative rashes.

Withhold or permanently discontinue OPDIVO and YERVOY depending on severity (please see section 2 Dosage and Administration in the accompanying Full Prescribing Information).

Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions

The following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred at an incidence of <1% (unless otherwise noted) in patients who received OPDIVO monotherapy or OPDIVO in combination with YERVOY or were reported with the use of other PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies. Severe or fatal cases have been reported for some of these adverse reactions: cardiac/vascular: myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis; nervous system: meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis and demyelination, myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis (including exacerbation), Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve paresis, autoimmune neuropathy; ocular: uveitis, iritis, and other ocular inflammatory toxicities can occur; gastrointestinal: pancreatitis to include increases in serum amylase and lipase levels, gastritis, duodenitis; musculoskeletal and connective tissue: myositis/polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis, and associated sequelae including renal failure, arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica; endocrine: hypoparathyroidism; other (hematologic/immune): hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), systemic inflammatory response syndrome, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), sarcoidosis, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, solid organ transplant rejection.

In addition to the immune-mediated adverse reactions listed above, across clinical trials of YERVOY monotherapy or in combination with OPDIVO, the following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions, some with fatal outcome, occurred in <1% of patients unless otherwise specified: nervous system: autoimmune neuropathy (2%), myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis, motor dysfunction; cardiovascular: angiopathy, temporal arteritis; ocular: blepharitis, episcleritis, orbital myositis, scleritis; gastrointestinal: pancreatitis (1.3%); other (hematologic/immune): conjunctivitis, cytopenias (2.5%), eosinophilia (2.1%), erythema multiforme, hypersensitivity vasculitis, neurosensory hypoacusis, psoriasis.

Some ocular IMAR cases can be associated with retinal detachment. Various grades of visual impairment, including blindness, can occur. If uveitis occurs in combination with other immune-mediated adverse reactions, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada–like syndrome, which has been observed in patients receiving YERVOY, as this may require treatment with systemic corticosteroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.

Infusion-Related Reactions

OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause severe infusion-related reactions. Discontinue OPDIVO and YERVOY in patients with severe (Grade 3) or life-threatening (Grade 4) infusion-related reactions. Interrupt or slow the rate of infusion in patients with mild (Grade 1) or moderate (Grade 2) infusion-related reactions.

Complications of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Fatal and other serious complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) before or after being treated with OPDIVO or YERVOY. Transplant-related complications include hyperacute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced intensity conditioning, and steroid-requiring febrile syndrome (without an identified infectious cause). These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between OPDIVO or YERVOY and allogeneic HSCT.

Follow patients closely for evidence of transplant-related complications and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit versus risks of treatment with OPDIVO and YERVOY prior to or after an allogeneic HSCT.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Based on its mechanism of action and findings from animal studies, OPDIVO and YERVOY can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The effects of YERVOY are likely to be greater during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with OPDIVO and YERVOY and for at least 5 months after the last dose.

Increased Mortality in Patients with Multiple Myeloma when OPDIVO is Added to a Thalidomide Analogue and Dexamethasone

In randomized clinical trials in patients with multiple myeloma, the addition of OPDIVO to a thalidomide analogue plus dexamethasone resulted in increased mortality. Treatment of patients with multiple myeloma with a PD-1 or PD-L1 blocking antibody in combination with a thalidomide analogue plus dexamethasone is not recommended outside of controlled clinical trials.

Lactation

There are no data on the presence of OPDIVO or YERVOY in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed children, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment and for 5 months after the last dose.

Serious Adverse Reactions

In Checkmate 227, serious adverse reactions occurred in 58% of patients (n=576). The most frequent (≥2%) serious adverse reactions were pneumonia, diarrhea/colitis, pneumonitis, hepatitis, pulmonary embolism, adrenal insufficiency, and hypophysitis. Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 1.7% of patients; these included events of pneumonitis (4 patients), myocarditis, acute kidney injury, shock, hyperglycemia, multi-system organ failure, and renal failure. In Checkmate 9LA, serious adverse reactions occurred in 57% of patients (n=358). The most frequent (>2%) serious adverse reactions were pneumonia, diarrhea, febrile neutropenia, anemia, acute kidney injury, musculoskeletal pain, dyspnea, pneumonitis, and respiratory failure. Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 7 (2%) patients, and included hepatic toxicity, acute renal failure, sepsis, pneumonitis, diarrhea with hypokalemia, and massive hemoptysis in the setting of thrombocytopenia.

Common Adverse Reactions

In Checkmate 227, the most common (≥20%) adverse reactions were fatigue (44%), rash (34%), decreased appetite (31%), musculoskeletal pain (27%), diarrhea/colitis (26%), dyspnea (26%), cough (23%), hepatitis (21%), nausea (21%), and pruritus (21%). In Checkmate 9LA, the most common (>20%) adverse reactions were fatigue (49%), musculoskeletal pain (39%), nausea (32%), diarrhea (31%), rash (30%), decreased appetite (28%), constipation (21%), and pruritus (21%).

Please see U.S. Full Prescribing Information for OPDIVO and YERVOY:
https://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi_opdivo.pdf
https://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi_yervoy.pdf

References:
1. Key statistics for lung cancer. American Cancer Society. Reviewed October 1, 2019. Revised January 8, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html.
2. Lung and bronchus cancer – cancer stat facts. National Cancer Institute. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/lungb.html.
3. Howlader N, Forjaz G, Mooradian MJ, et al. The effect of advances in lung-cancer treatment on population mortality. N Engl J Med. 2020;383:640-649.
4. OPDIVO [package insert]. Princeton, NJ: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
5. FDA approval for Checkmate 227. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-approvals-and-databases/fda-approves-nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab-first-line-mnsclc-pd-l1-tumor-expression-1.
6. YERVOY [package insert]. Princeton, NJ: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
7. FDA approval for Checkmate 9LA. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-approvals-and-databases/fda-approves-nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab-and-chemotherapy-first-line-treatment-metastatic-nsclc.
8. Weber JS, Hamid O, Chasalow SD, et al. Ipilimumab increases activated T cells and enhances humoral immunity in patients with advanced melanoma. J Immunother. 2012;35:89-97.
9. Farber DL, Yudanin NA, and Restifo NP. Human memory T cells: generation, compartmentalization and homeostasis. Nat Rev Immunol. 2014;14(1):24-35.
10. Ansell SM, Hurvitz SA, Koenig PA, et al. Phase I study of ipilimumab, an anti–CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody, in patients with relapsed and refractory B-cell non–Hodgkin lymphoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2009;15(20):6446-6453.
11. Felix J, Lambert J, Roelens M, et al. Ipilimumab reshapes T cell memory subsets in melanoma patients with clinical response. Oncoimmunology. 2016;5(7):e1136045.
12. Pedicord VA, Montalvo W, Leiner IM, and Allison JP. Single dose of anti–CTLA-4 enhances CD8+ T-cell memory formation, function, and maintenance. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108(1):266-271.
13. de Coaña YP, Wolodarski M, Poschke I, et al. Ipilimumab treatment decreases monocytic MDSCs and increases CD8 effector memory T cells in long-term survivors with advanced melanoma. Oncotarget. 2017;8(13):21539-21553.
14. Buchbinder EI and Desai A. CTLA-4 and PD-1 pathways: similarities, differences, and implications of their inhibition. Am J Clin Oncol. 2016;39:98-106.
15. Ramalingam S, Ciuleanu T-E, Pluzanski A, et al. Nivolumab + ipilimumab versus platinum-doublet chemotherapy as first-line treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: Three-year update from Checkmate 227 Part 1. Oral presentation at ASCO 2020. Abstract 9500.
16. Hellmann MD, Paz-Ares L, Bernabe Caro R, et al. Nivolumab plus ipilimumab in advanced non–small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med. 2019;381:2020-2031.
17. Hellmann MD, Paz-Ares L, Bernabe Caro R, et al. Nivolumab plus ipilimumab in advanced non–small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med. 2019;381:2020-2031. [supplementary appendix].
18. Reck M, Ciuleanu T-E, Cobo M, et al. Nivolumab + ipilimumab + 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemotherapy vs 4 cycles chemotherapy as first-line treatment for stage IV/recurrent NSCLC: Checkmate 9LA. Oral presentation at ASCO 2020. Abstract 9501.
19. Data on file. NIVO 566. Princeton, NJ: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Challenges and Unmet Needs in Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Written by Dr. Irfan A. Mirza
This article is sponsored and developed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Significant strides have been made in the last decade for systemic treatment options for stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), including those tailored for squamous and non-squamous histology.1,2 While non-squamous NSCLC has benefited from advances such as the introduction of personalized, genotyped-directed therapies, and immunotherapy drugs, the treatment options for squamous cell NSCLC remain limited.1,2

Historically, the NCCN guidelines recommended the use of platinum-based chemotherapy in the first line setting, followed by immunotherapy in the second-line.3 However, following the results of the KEYNOTE-407 study, immunotherapy together with platinum doublet chemotherapy is now recommended in the first-line setting.4,5 This leaves an unmet need for patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC who have progressed, where most treatments consist of chemotherapy.2,6

Afatinib is an oral, non-chemotherapy option for patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC who have progressed on platinum-based chemotherapy.7 Afatinib is an irreversible second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)–tyrosine kinase inhibitor that selectively inhibits homo- and hetero-dimers of the ErbB receptor family (EGFR, ErbB2, and ErbB4).7

LUX-Lung 8 was a multicenter, open label, phase 3, randomized, controlled trial across 23 countries that enrolled 795 patients with advanced (stage III B and stage IV) squamous NSCLC, progressing after at least 4 cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy.8 Patients were randomized (1:1) to either afatinib 40 mg daily or erlotinib 150 mg daily until disease progression.8 The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) as assessed by an independent review committee (IRC), using RECIST v1.1 and secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS) and objective response rates as assessed by an IRC.8

In LUX-Lung 8, significant improvement in PFS and overall survival was observed for afatinib compared with erlotinib.8 The median PFS was reported as 2.4 months with afatinib and 1.9 months with erlotinib [HR, 0.82 (95% CI 0.68-0.99)] (Figure 1).8
LUX-Lung-8-Median-Progression-Free-Survival
After a median follow up of 18.4 months, median OS was 7.9 months in the afatinib group and 6.8 months in the erlotinib group [HR 0.81 (95% CI 0.69-0.95), p = 0.0077].8 Estimates of OS among patients treated with afatinib were 64% at 6 months, 36% at 1 year, and 22% at 18 months (Figure 2).8

LUX-Lung-8-K-M-Estimates-of-Survival
More than half (51%) of patients treated with afatinib were able to achieve disease control (defined as complete response, partial response, stable disease, or non-complete response and non-progressive disease) compared with 40% with erlotinib.8 Excluding patients with non-complete response and non-progressive disease, disease control with afatinib was 37%, vs 29% with erlotinib, in a post hoc analysis.8 The median duration of objective response was 7.3 months with afatinib and 3.7 months with erlotinib.8

The most common adverse effects associated with afatinib were diarrhea, rash/acneiform dermatitis, stomatitis, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, paronychia, and pruritus.8,9 Twenty percent of patients discontinued afatinib treatment due to adverse reactions, with the most frequent adverse reactions leading to discontinuation being diarrhea in 4.1% of patients and rash/acne in 2.6%.9 Serious adverse reactions occurred in 44% of patients, with pneumonia (6.6%), diarrhea (4.6%), dehydration, and dyspnea (3.1% each) being the most frequent.9 Fatal adverse reactions in afatinib-treated patients included interstitial lung disease, pneumonia, respiratory failure, acute renal failure, and general physical health deterioration, all occurring in less than 1% of patients.9

Adverse Reactions (ARs) Reported in ≥10% of GILOTRIF-Treated Patients in LUX-Lung 89*:
GILOTRIF (n=392), erlotinib (n=395) – All Grades & Grades 3-4 ARs
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Diarrhea – GILOTRIF all grades: 75%; grades 3-4: 11%; erlotinib all grades: 41%, grades 3-4: 3%
Stomatitis – GILOTRIF all grades: 30%; grades 3-4: 4%; erlotinib all grades: 11%, grades 3-4: 1%
Nausea – GILOTRIF all grades: 21%; grades 3-4: 2%; erlotinib all grades: 16%, grades 3-4: 1%
Vomiting – GILOTRIF all grades: 13%; grades 3-4: 1%; erlotinib all grades: 10%, grades 3-4: 1%
Skin and Subcutaneous tissue disorders
Rash/acneform dermatitis – GILOTRIF all grades: 70%; grades 3-4: 7%; erlotinib all grades: 70%, grades 3-4: 11%
Pruritus – GILOTRIF all grades: 10%; grades 3-4: 0%; erlotinib all grades: 13%, grades 3-4: 0%
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Decreased appetite – GILOTRIF all grades: 25%; grades 3-4: 3%; erlotinib all grades: 13%, grades 3-4: 0%
Infections
Paronychia§ – GILOTRIF all grades: 11%; grades 3-4: 1%; erlotinib all grades: 5%, grades 3-4: 0%
*NCI CTCAE v 3.0
Includes stomatitis, aphthous stomatitis, mucosal inflammation, mouth ulceration, oral mucosa erosion, mucosal erosion, mucosal ulceration
Includes acne, dermatitis, acneiform dermatitis, eczema, erythema, exfoliative rash, folliculitis, rash, rash generalized, rash macular, rash maculo-papular,

rash pruritic, rash pustular, skin exfoliation, skin fissures, skin lesion, skin reaction, skin toxicity, skin ulcer
§ Includes paronychia, nail infection, nail bed infection

In summary, LUX-Lung 8 met its primary and secondary endpoints and remains the largest prospective head-to-head trial that compares two TKIs for second-line treatment of patients with squamous NSCLC.8 Future studies should focus on understanding the clinical profile of afatinib within the context of other commonly-used treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy. In a disease setting with few treatment options, and a pandemic which can make delivery of infusions challenging, afatinib offers patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC an opportunity to receive a chemotherapy-free, oral option once they have progressed following treatment with standard, platinum based, first line treatment.8,9

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

GILOTRIF is indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC progressing after platinum-based chemotherapy.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR GILOTRIF® (afatinib) TABLETS
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

Diarrhea
• GILOTRIF can cause diarrhea which may be severe and can result in dehydration with or without renal impairment. In clinical studies, some of these cases were fatal.
• For patients who develop Grade 2 diarrhea lasting more than 48 hours or Grade 3 or greater diarrhea, withhold GILOTRIF until diarrhea resolves to Grade 1 or less, and then resume at a reduced dose.
• Provide patients with an anti-diarrheal agent (e.g., loperamide) for self-administration at the onset of diarrhea and instruct patients to continue anti-diarrheal until loose stools cease for 12 hours.

Bullous and Exfoliative Skin Disorders
• GILOTRIF can result in cutaneous reactions consisting of rash, erythema, and acneiform rash. In addition, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome was observed in clinical trials in patients taking GILOTRIF.
• Discontinue GILOTRIF in patients who develop life-threatening bullous, blistering, or exfoliating skin lesions. For patients who develop Grade 2 cutaneous adverse reactions lasting more than 7 days, intolerable Grade 2, or Grade 3 cutaneous reactions, withhold GILOTRIF. When the adverse reaction resolves to Grade 1 or less, resume GILOTRIF with appropriate dose reduction.
• Postmarketing cases of toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS) have been reported in patients receiving GILOTRIF. Discontinue GILOTRIF if TEN or SJS is suspected.

Interstitial Lung Disease
• Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) or ILD-like adverse reactions (e.g., lung infiltration, pneumonitis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or alveolitis allergic) occurred in patients receiving GILOTRIF in clinical trials. In some cases, ILD was fatal. The incidence of ILD appeared to be higher in Asian patients as compared to white patients.
• Withhold GILOTRIF during evaluation of patients with suspected ILD, and discontinue GILOTRIF in patients with confirmed ILD.

Hepatic Toxicity
• Hepatic toxicity as evidenced by liver function tests abnormalities has been observed in patients taking GILOTRIF. In 4257 patients who received GILOTRIF across clinical trials, 9.7% had liver test abnormalities, of which 0.2% were fatal.
• Obtain periodic liver testing in patients during treatment with GILOTRIF. Withhold GILOTRIF in patients who develop worsening of liver function. Discontinue treatment in patients who develop severe hepatic impairment while taking GILOTRIF.

Gastrointestinal Perforation
• Gastrointestinal (GI) perforation, including fatal cases, has occurred with GILOTRIF. GI perforation has been reported in 0.2% of patients treated with GILOTRIF among 3213 patients across 17 randomized controlled clinical trials.
• Patients receiving concomitant corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or anti-angiogenic agents, or patients with increasing age or who have an underlying history of GI ulceration, underlying diverticular disease, or bowel metastases may be at an increased risk of perforation.
• Permanently discontinue GILOTRIF in patients who develop GI perforation.

Keratitis
• Keratitis has been reported in patients taking GILOTRIF.
• Withhold GILOTRIF during evaluation of patients with suspected keratitis. If diagnosis of ulcerative keratitis is confirmed, interrupt or discontinue GILOTRIF. If keratitis is diagnosed, the benefits and risks of continuing treatment should be carefully considered. GILOTRIF should be used with caution in patients with a history of keratitis, ulcerative keratitis, or severe dry eye. Contact lens use is also a risk factor for keratitis and ulceration.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity
• GILOTRIF can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus.
• Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment, and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose of GILOTRIF. Advise female patients to contact their healthcare provider with a known or suspected pregnancy.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Adverse Reactions observed in clinical trials were as follows:

Previously Treated, Metastatic Squamous NSCLC
• In GILOTRIF-treated patients (n=392) the most common adverse reactions (≥20% all grades & vs erlotinib-treated patients (n=395)) were diarrhea (75% vs 41%), rash/acneiform dermatitis (70% vs 70%), stomatitis (30% vs 11%), decreased appetite (25% vs 26%), and nausea (21% vs 16%).
• Serious adverse reactions were reported in 44% of patients treated with GILOTRIF. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in patients treated with GILOTRIF were pneumonia (6.6%), diarrhea (4.6%), and dehydration and dyspnea (3.1% each). Fatal adverse reactions in GILOTRIF-treated patients included ILD (0.5%), pneumonia (0.3%), respiratory failure (0.3%), acute renal failure (0.3%), and general physical health deterioration (0.3%).

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Effect of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) Inhibitors and Inducers
• Concomitant use of P-gp inhibitors (including but not limited to ritonavir, cyclosporine A, ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, verapamil, quinidine, tacrolimus, nelfinavir, saquinavir, and amiodarone) with GILOTRIF can increase exposure to afatinib.
• Concomitant use of P-gp inducers (including but not limited to rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, and St. John’s wort) with GILOTRIF can decrease exposure to afatinib.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Lactation
• Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants from GILOTRIF, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with GILOTRIF and for 2 weeks after the final dose.

Females and Males of Reproductive Potential
• GILOTRIF may reduce fertility in females and males of reproductive potential. It is not known if the effects on fertility are reversible.

Renal Impairment
• Patients with severe renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] 15 to 29 mL/min/1.73 m2) have a higher exposure to afatinib than patients with normal renal function. Administer GILOTRIF at a starting dose of 30 mg once daily in patients with severe renal impairment. GILOTRIF has not been studied in patients with eGFR <15 mL/min/1.73 m2 or who are on dialysis.

Hepatic Impairment
• GILOTRIF has not been studied in patients with severe (Child Pugh C) hepatic impairment. Closely monitor patients with severe hepatic impairment and adjust GILOTRIF dose if not tolerated.

REFERENCES
1. Baxevanos P, Mountzios G. Novel chemotherapy regimens for advanced lung cancer: have we reached a plateau? Ann Transl Med. 2018;6(8):139.
2. Santos ES, Hart L. Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung: Current Treatment Approaches and the Role of Afatinib. Onco Targets Ther. 2020 Sep 22;13:9305-9321.
3. Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. V.1.2016. ©National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved. Accessed November 2, 2020. To view the most recent and complete version of the guidelines, go online to NCCN.org.
4. Paz-Ares L, et al. Pembrolizumab plus Chemotherapy for Squamous NSCLC. N Engl J Med. 2018;379: 2040-2051; DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1810865
5. Referenced with permission from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. V.8.2020. ©National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Accessed November 2, 2020. To view the most recent and complete version of the guidelines, go online to NCCN.org.
6. Paik PK, et al. New treatment options in advanced squamous cell lung cancer. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2019;39:e198-e206.
7. Hirsh V. Next-Generation Covalent Irreversible Kinase Inhibitors in NSCLC: Focus on Afatinib. BioDrugs. 2015;29(3):167 183.
8. Soria JC, et al. Afatinib versus erlotinib as second-line treatment of patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (LUX-Lung 8): an open-label randomised controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2015;16(8):897 907.
9. GILOTRIF [prescribing information]. Ridgefield, CT: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Please review the Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information at www.gilotrifhcp.com

Adjuvant TAGRISSO® in Resected EGFR-Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

SUMMARY: Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for about 14% of all new cancers and 27% of all cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that for 2020, about 228, 820 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed and 135,720 patients will die of the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. Of the three main subtypes of NSCLC, 30% are Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC), 40% are Adenocarcinomas and 10% are Large Cell Carcinomas. With changes in the cigarette composition and decline in tobacco consumption over the past several decades, Adenocarcinoma now is the most frequent histologic subtype of lung cancer.

Approximately 10-15% of Caucasian patients and 35-50% of Asian patients with Adenocarcinomas, harbor activating EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) mutations and 90% of these mutations are either Exon 19 deletions or L858R substitution mutation in Exon 21. Approximately 25% of patients with EGFR mutated NSCLC have brain metastases at diagnosis, increasing to approximately 40% within two years of diagnosis. The presence of brain metastases often reduces median survival to less than eight months. EGFR-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) such as TARCEVA® (Erlotinib), IRESSA® (Gefitinib) and GILOTRIF® (Afatinib), have demonstrated a 60-70% response rate as monotherapy when administered as first line treatment, in patients with metastatic NSCLC, who harbor the sensitizing EGFR mutations. However, majority of these patients experience disease progression within 9-14 months. This resistance to frontline EGFR TKI therapy has been attributed to the most common, acquired T790M “gatekeeper” point mutation in EGFR, identified in 50-60% of patients.

TAGRISSO® (Osimertinib) is a highly selective third-generation Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) TKI presently approved by the FDA, for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC, whose tumors have Exon 19 deletions or Exon 21 L858R mutations, as well as treatment of patients with metastatic EGFR T790M mutation-positive NSCLC, whose disease has progressed on or after EGFR-TKI therapy. Further, TAGRISSO® has higher CNS penetration and is therefore able to induce responses in 70-90% of patients with brain metastases. Among patients with metastatic, EGFR-mutant NSCLC, first-line treatment with TAGRISSO® significantly improved median Overall Survival, compared with TARCEVA® and IRESSA®, and should therefore be considered the preferred regimen.

Surgical resection is the primary treatment for approximately 30% of patients with NSCLC who present with early Stage (I–IIIA) disease. These patients are often treated with platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy to decrease the risk of recurrence. Nonetheless, 45-75% of these patients develop recurrent disease. There is therefore an unmet need for this patient population.

ADAURA is a global, double-blind, randomized Phase III study, which assessed the efficacy and safety of TAGRISSO® versus placebo in patients with Stage IB–IIIA EGFR mutated NSCLC, after complete tumor resection and adjuvant chemotherapy, when indicated. In this study, 682 patients with completely resected Stage IB, II, IIIA NSCLC, with or without postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy, were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive either TAGRISSO® 80 mg orally once daily (N=339) or placebo (N=343) once daily, for up to 3 years. Eligible patients had an ECOG Performance Status of 0 or 1, with confirmed EGFR mutations (Exon 19del or L858R). Treatment groups were well balanced and patients were stratified by Stage (IB/II/IIIA), mutation type (Exon 19del/L858R), and race (Asian/non-Asian).
Most patients with Stage II to IIIA disease (76%) and approximately a quarter of the patients with Stage IB disease (26%) received adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy. The Primary endpoint was Disease Free Survival (DFS) in Stage II–IIIA patients. Secondary endpoints included DFS in the overall population of patients with Stage IB to IIIA disease, Overall Survival (OS) and safety. Following Independent Data Monitoring Committee recommendation, the trial was unblinded early, due to efficacy. The authors reported the results from the unplanned interim analysis.

It was noted that in the patients with Stage II/IIIA disease, the DFS had not been reached with TAGRISSO® versus 19.6 months with placebo (HR=0.17; P<0.001). This was equal to an 83% reduction in the risk of recurrence or death, indicating a significantly longer DFS among patients in the TAGRISSO® group, compared to those in the placebo group. The 2-year DFS rate in this patient group with TAGRISSO® was 90% versus 44% with placebo.

In the overall population, which included Stage IB to IIIA disease, the median DFS was not reached with TAGRISSO® versus 27.5 months with placebo (HR=0.20; P<0.001). This Hazard Ratio equaled an 80% reduction in the risk of disease recurrence or death among patients in the TAGRISSO® group compared to those in the placebo group. The 2-year DFS rate in the overall population was 89% with TAGRISSO® versus 52% with placebo.

The benefit favoring TAGRISSO® with respect to DFS was observed consistently across all predefined subgroups including disease Stages IB, II, and IIIA and use or nonuse of adjuvant chemotherapy. The benefit with TAGRISSO® was greater at more advanced stages of disease (among patients with Stage IIIA disease, the overall HR was 0.12, among those with Stage II disease, the HR was 0.17, and among those with Stage IB disease, the HR was 0.39). At 2 years, 98% of the patients in the TAGRISSO® group and 85% of the patients in the placebo group were alive without CNS-related disease (HR for CNS disease recurrence or death=0.18). This indicated an 82% reduction in the risk of CNS disease recurrence or death with TAGRISSO®. The Overall Survival data were immature at the time of this interim analysis. Adverse Events were consistent with the known safety profile of TAGRISSO®.

The authors concluded that adjuvant TAGRISSO® is the first targeted agent in a global randomized trial, to show a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in Disease Free Survival, among patients with Stage IB/II/IIIA EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC, and provides an effective new treatment strategy for this patient group.

Osimertinib in Resected EGFR-Mutated Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Wu Y-L, Tsuboi M, He J, et al. for the ADAURA Investigators. N Engl J Med 2020; 383:1711-1723.

GILOTRIF® in EGFR Positive Non Small Cell Lung Cancer Harboring Uncommon Mutations

SUMMARY: Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for about 14% of all new cancers and 27% of all cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that for 2020, about 228, 820 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed and 135,720 patients will die of the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. Of the three main subtypes of NSCLC, 30% are Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC), 40% are Adenocarcinomas and 10% are Large Cell Carcinomas. With changes in the cigarette composition and decline in tobacco consumption over the past several decades, Adenocarcinoma now is the most frequent histologic subtype of lung cancer.

Approximately 10-15% of Caucasian patients, and 35-50% of Asian patients with Adenocarcinomas, harbor activating EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) mutations. The majority of patients have classical EGFR mutations which are either Exon 19 deletions or L858R substitution mutation in Exon 21, and for those patients with EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC, EGFR-TKIs are the first choice of treatment. However, around 5-20% of tumors harbor Major uncommon mutations, such as G719X, L861Q and S768I, as well as other more rare mutations, and these uncommon EGFR mutations show heterogeneity in their response to EGFR-TKIs. Compared with other EGFR mutations, G719X, L861Q and S768I substitution mutations are associated with a poorer prognosis and have limited treatment options.

GILOTRIF® (Afatinib) is an oral, irreversible blocker of the ErbB family which includes EGFR (ErbB1), HER2 (ErbB2), ErbB3 and ErbB4. GILOTRIF® demonstrated clinical activity against Major uncommon EGFR mutations such as G719X, L861Q and S768I which is more often seen in Asian patients, and is FDA approved in this setting. There are however, few clinical data regarding the efficacy of the available EGFR-TKIs against other uncommon EGFR mutations, and there is no knowledge of ethnic differences in prevalence and outcomes.

This study investigated the efficacy of GILOTRIF® in EGFR mutation positive NSCLC among Asian and non-Asian patients with uncommon mutations. Uncommon mutations were classed into five categoriesMajor uncommon (G719X, L861Q and S768I), Compound, Exon 20 insertions, T790M Mutation, and Other. Patients may have more than uncommon mutation.

The researchers conducted a pooled analysis from randomized clinical trials and Real-World Studies and examined the activity of GILOTRIF® in Asian and non-Asian patients with NSCLC and uncommon EGFR mutations, who had not received prior treatment with EGFR TKIs. All identified patients included in this study had outcome data such as Time to Treatment failure (TTF) or Objective Response Rate (ORR) available. The total number of evaluable patients were 298 (N=298), of whom 60% were Asian (N=178) and 40% were Non-Asian (N=120). The median patient age ranged from 60-66 years across the different mutation groups. Approximately 40% of patients had Major uncommon mutations such as G719X, L861Q and S768I, 24% had Exon 20 insertions, 12% had T790M mutations and 24% had Compound and Other mutations. When broken by ethnicity, among Asian patients, approximately 62% had Major uncommon mutations, 14% had Compound mutations and 16% had Exon 20 insertions. Among non-Asian patients, 35% had Major uncommon mutations, approximately 7% had Compound mutations and 39% had Exon 20 insertions. The Endpoints included Objective Response Rate (ORR), Duration of Response (DoR) and Time to Treatment Failure (TTF), and outcomes were compared in Asian and non-Asian EGFR-TKI-naïve patients.

This analysis showed that the efficacy of GILOTRIF® was unaffected by ethnicity, and the Overall Response Rate (ORR) among tumors with Major uncommon mutations was 66% in Asian patients versus 59% in non-Asian patients, and the median Duration of Response (DoR) was 14.7 months compared with 15.9 months respectively. Among those with Major uncommon mutations, the ORR in tumors harboring G719X mutation was 62% in Asian patients and 65% in non-Asian patients. Among those tumors with a L861Q mutation, the ORRs were 60% versus 50%, respectively and among those with a S768I mutation, the ORRs were 80% versus 25%, respectively. The Overall Response Rate (ORR) among tumors with Compound mutations was 81% in Asian patients versus 100% in non-Asian patients and the median Duration of Response (DoR) was 11.5 months compared with 18.6 months respectively. Among patients who harbored Exon 20 insertions, the ORR with GILOTRIF® in Asian patients was 21% versus 23% in non-Asian patients, with a Duration of Response of 11 months and 10.7 months, respectively.

It was concluded that GILOTRIF® shows clinical activity against uncommon EGFR mutations in both Asian and non-Asian patients, with durable clinical responses, and should be considered as a first-line treatment option in Asian and non-Asian patients with Major uncommon (G719X, L861Q and S768I) and Compound EGFR mutations.

Afatinib in Asian and non-Asian patients (pts) with EGFR mutation-positive (EGFRm+) NSCLC harboring major uncommon mutations. Yang JC-H, Schuler M, Popat S, et al. Presented at: 2020 IASLC North America Conference on Lung Cancer; October 16-17, 2020; Virtual. Abstract MO01.36.

GAVRETO® (Pralsetinib)

The FDA on September 4, 2020 granted accelerated approval to GAVRETO® for adult patients with metastatic RET fusion-positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), as detected by an FDA approved test. GAVRETO® is a product of Blueprint Medicines Corporation.