Background: KRAS mutations in NSCLC are associated with a lack of response to epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors. Selumetinib (AZD6244; ARRY-142886) is an oral selective MEK kinase inhibitor of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway.
Patients and methods: Advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients failing one to two prior regimens underwent KRAS profiling. KRAS wild-type patients were randomized to erlotinib (150 mg daily) or a combination of selumetinib (150 mg daily) with erlotinib (100 mg daily). KRAS mutant patients were randomized to selumetinib (75 mg b.i.d.) or the combination. The primary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) for the KRAS wild-type cohort and objective response rate (ORR) for the KRAS mutant cohort. Biomarker studies of ERK phosphorylation and immune subsets were carried out.
Results: From March 2010 to May 2013, 89 patients were screened; 41 KRAS mutant and 38 KRAS wild-type patients were enrolled. Median PFS in the KRAS wild-type arm was 2.4 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-3.7] for erlotinib alone and 2.1 months (95% CI 1.8-5.1) for the combination. The ORR in the KRAS mutant group was 0% (95% CI 0.0% to 33.6%) for selumetinib alone and 10% (95% CI 2.1% to 26.3%) for the combination. Combination therapy resulted in increased toxicities, requiring dose reductions (56%) and discontinuation (8%). Programmed cell death-1 expression on regulatory T cells (Tregs), Tim-3 on CD8+ T cells and Th17 levels were associated with PFS and overall survival in patients receiving selumetinib.
Conclusions: This study failed to show improvement in ORR or PFS with combination therapy of selumetinib and erlotinib over monotherapy in KRAS mutant and KRAS wild-type advanced NSCLC. The association of immune subsets and immune checkpoint receptor expression with selumetinib may warrant further studies.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01229150.
Keywords: EGFR; KRAS; MEK; erlotinib; nonsmall-cell lung cancer; selumetinib.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.