Multicentre real-world data of ramucirumab plus docetaxel after combined platinum-based chemotherapy with programmed death-1 blockade in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: NEJ051 (REACTIVE study)

Eur J Cancer. 2023 May:184:62-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2023.01.025. Epub 2023 Feb 11.


Background: Ramucirumab plus docetaxel (RD) is a promising treatment for previously treated advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, its clinical significance after platinum-based chemotherapy plus programmed death-1 (PD-1) blockade remains unclear.

Research question: What is the clinical significance of RD as a second-line treatment after the failure of chemo-immunotherapy in NSCLC?

Study design and methods: In this multicentre retrospective study, 288 patients with advanced NSCLC who received RDas second-line therapy after platinum-based chemotherapy plus PD-1 blockade, at 62 Japanese institutions from January 2017 to August 2020, were included. Prognostic analyses were performed using the log-rank test. Prognostic factor analyses were performed using a Cox regression analysis.

Results: A total of 288 patients were enrolled: 222 were men (77.1%), 262 were aged <75 years (91.0%), 237 (82.3%) had smoking history and 269 (93.4%) had a performance status (PS) of 0-1. One hundred ninety-nine patients (69.1%) were classified as adenocarcinoma (AC) and 89 (30.9%) as non-AC. The types of PD-1 blockade used in the first-line treatment were anti-PD-1 antibody and anti-programmed death-ligand 1 antibody in 236 (81.9%) and 52 (18.1%) patients, respectively. The objective response rate for RD was 28.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.7-34.4). The disease control rate was 69.8% (95% CI, 64.1-75.0).The median progression free survival and overall survival were 4.1 months (95% CI, 3.5-4.6) and 11.6 months (95% CI, 9.9-13.9), respectively. In a multivariate analysis, non-AC and PS 2-3 were independent prognostic factors for worse progression free survival , while bone metastasis on diagnosis, PS 2-3 and non-AC were identified as independent prognostic factors for poor overall survival.

Interpretation: RD is a feasible second-line treatment in patients with advanced NSCLC who had received combined chemo-immunotherapy with PD-1 blockade.

Clinical trial registration number: UMIN000042333.

Keywords: Chemo-immunotherapy; Non-small cell lung cancer; Ramucirumab plus docetaxel; Second-line treatment; VEGFR2.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / pathology
  • Docetaxel / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Male
  • Platinum / therapeutic use
  • Ramucirumab
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Taxoids / therapeutic use


  • Docetaxel
  • Platinum
  • Taxoids
  • PDCD1 protein, human