Multicenter Phase II Study of Whole-Body and Intracranial Activity With Ceritinib in Patients With ALK-Rearranged Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Previously Treated With Chemotherapy and Crizotinib: Results From ASCEND-2

J Clin Oncol. 2016 Aug 20;34(24):2866-73. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.65.5936. Epub 2016 Jul 18.


Purpose: Phase I data (ASCEND-1) showed ceritinib efficacy in patients with ALK-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), regardless of brain metastases status and with or without prior therapy with an inhibitor of the ALK protein. Data are presented from a phase II trial (ASCEND-2) in which ceritinib efficacy and safety were evaluated in patients who had ALK-rearranged NSCLC previously treated with at least one platinum-based chemotherapy and who had experienced progression during crizotinib treatment as their last prior therapy.

Patients and methods: Patients with advanced ALK-rearranged NSCLC, including those with asymptomatic or neurologically stable baseline brain metastases, received oral ceritinib 750 mg/d. Whole-body and intracranial responses were investigator assessed (according to RECIST version 1.1). Patient-reported outcomes were evaluated with the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer surveys (the core-30 and the 13-item lung cancer-specific quality-of-life questionnaires).

Results: All 140 patients enrolled had received two or more previous treatment regimens, and all patients had received crizotinib. The median duration of exposure and the follow-up time with ceritinib were 8.8 months (range, 0.1 to 19.4 months) and 11.3 months (range, 0.1 to 18.9 months), respectively. Investigator-assessed overall response rate was 38.6% (95% CI, 30.5% to 47.2%). Secondary end points, all investigator assessed, included disease control rate (77.1%; 95% CI, 69.3% to 83.8%), time to response (median, 1.8 months; range, 1.6 to 5.6 months), duration of response (median, 9.7 months; 95% CI, 7.1 to 11.1 months), and progression-free survival (median, 5.7 months; 95% CI, 5.4 to 7.6 months). Of 100 patients with baseline brain metastases, 20 had active target lesions at baseline; investigator-assessed intracranial overall response rate was 45.0% (95% CI, 23.1% to 68.5%). The most common adverse events (majority, grade 1 or 2) for all treated patients were nausea (81.4%), diarrhea (80.0%), and vomiting (62.9%). Patient-reported outcomes showed a trend toward improved symptom burden. The global quality-of-life score was maintained during treatment.

Conclusion: Consistent with its activity in ASCEND-1, ceritinib treatment provided clinically meaningful and durable responses with manageable tolerability in chemotherapy- and crizotinib-pretreated patients, including those with brain metastases.

Trial registration: NCT01685060.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Crizotinib
  • Female
  • Gene Order
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Pyridines / administration & dosage
  • Pyrimidines / adverse effects
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*
  • Sulfones / adverse effects
  • Sulfones / therapeutic use*


  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyridines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Sulfones
  • Crizotinib
  • ALK protein, human
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • ceritinib

Associated data