RRx-001, an experimental systemically non-toxic epi-immunotherapeutic agent, which potentiates the resensitization of resistant cancer cells to formerly effective therapies, is under active investigation in several clinical trials that are based on sequential or concomitant rechallenge to resistant first- or second-line regimens. One of these trials is designated TRIPLE THREAT (NCT02489903), because it explores the conditioning or priming effect of RRx-001 on three tumor types - non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small cell lung cancer and high-grade neuroendocrine tumors - prior to re-administration of platinum doublets. In follow-up to a recent case study, which describes early monotherapeutic benefit with RRx-001 in a refractory EGFR-mutated NSCLC tumor, we present subsequent evidence of a radiological partial response to reintroduced platinum doublets after RRx-001. For the 50% of patients with EGFR-mutated NSCLC who progress on EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (without evidence of a T790M mutations) as well as platinum doublets and pemetrexed/taxane, no other clinically established treatment options exist. A retrial of these therapies in EGFR-positive NSCLC patients via priming with epigenetic agents such as RRx-001 constitutes a strategy to 'episensitize' tumors (i.e. reverse resistance by epigenetic means) and to extend overall survival.
Keywords: Non-small cell lung cancer; Partial response; Platinum doublets; RRx-001; Refractory EGFR.