Phase III study of dulanermin (recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand/Apo2 ligand) combined with vinorelbine and cisplatin in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

Invest New Drugs. 2018 Apr;36(2):315-322. doi: 10.1007/s10637-017-0536-y. Epub 2017 Nov 14.


Background Dulanermin is a recombinant soluble human Apo2 ligand/tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) that activates apoptotic pathways by binding to proapoptotic death receptor (DR) 4 and DR5. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of dulanermin combined with vinorelbine and cisplatin (NP) as the first-line treatment for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Experimental design Patients were randomly assigned to receive NP chemotherapy (vinorelbine 25 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 and cisplatin 30 mg/m2 on days 2 to 4) for up to six cycles plus dulanermin (75 μg/kg on days 1 to 14) or placebo every three weeks until disease progression, intolerable toxicity, or withdrawal of consent. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS), and the secondary end points included objective response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS), and safety evaluation. Results Between October 2009 and June 2012, 452 untreated patients with stage IIIB to IV NSCLC were randomly assigned to receive dulanermin plus NP (n = 342) and placebo plus NP (n = 110). Median PFS was 6.4 months in the dulanermin arm versus 3.5 months in the placebo arm (hazard ratio (HR), 0.4034; 95% CI, 0.3181 to 0.5117, p < 0.0001). ORR was 46.78% in the dulanermin arm versus 30.00% in the placebo arm (p = 0.0019). Median OS was 14.6 months in the dulanermin arm versus 13.9 months in the placebo arm (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.21, p = 0.64). The most common grade ≥ 3 adverse events (AEs) were oligochromemia, leukopenia, neutropenia, and oligocythemia. Overall incidence of AEs, grade ≥ 3 AEs, and serious AEs were similar across the two arms. Conclusion Addition of dulanermin to the NP regimen significantly improved PFS and ORR. However, our results showed that the combination of dulanermin with chemotherapy had a synergic activity and favorable toxic profile in the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC.

Keywords: Dulanermin; NSCLC; Objective response rate; Phase III; Progression-free survival.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / adverse effects
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vinorelbine / adverse effects
  • Vinorelbine / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • Cisplatin
  • Vinorelbine