Efficacy and safety of ramucirumab plus carboplatin and paclitaxel in untreated metastatic thymic carcinoma: RELEVENT phase II trial (NCT03921671)

Ann Oncol. 2024 Jun 8:S0923-7534(24)00724-5. doi: 10.1016/j.annonc.2024.06.002. Online ahead of print.


Background: Thymic carcinoma (TC) is a rare tumor with aggressive behavior. Chemotherapy with carboplatin plus paclitaxel represents the treatment of choice for advanced disease. Antiangiogenic drugs, including ramucirumab, have shown activity in previously treated patients. RELEVENT trial was designed to evaluate the activity and safety of ramucirumab plus chemotherapy as first-line treatment in advanced TC.

Patients and methods: This phase II trial was conducted within the Italian TYME network. Eligible patients had treatment naive advanced TC. They received ramucirumab, carboplatin and paclitaxel for 6 cycles, followed by ramucirumab maintenance until disease progression or intolerable toxicity. Primary endpoint was ORR according to RECIST v1.1 as assessed by the investigator. Secondary endpoints were PFS, OS and safety. Centralized radiologic review was performed.

Results: From 11/2018 to 06/2023, 52 patients were screened, 35 were enrolled. Median age was 60.8 years, 71.4% of patients were male and 85.7% had Masaoka-Koga stage IVB. ECOG PS was 0 in 68.5%, 1 in 31.4% patients. At the present analysis carried out some months later the interim analysis (earlier than expected) on 35 patients, ORR was 80.0% [95%CI 63.1-91.6]. At the centralized radiological review of 33/35 evaluable patients, ORR was 57.6% [95%CI 39.2-74.5]. After a median follow-up of 31.6 months, median PFS was 18.1 [95%CI 10.8-52.3] and median OS 43.8 [95%CI 31.9-NR] months. Thirty-two out of 35 patients (91.4%) experienced at least one treatment-related adverse event (AE), of which 48.6% were AE≥G3.

Conclusions: In previously untreated advanced TC, the addition of ramucirumab to carboplatin and paclitaxel showed the highest activity compared to historical controls, with a manageable safety profile. Despite the small number of patients, given the rarity of the disease, the trial results support the consideration of this combination as first-line treatment in TC.

Keywords: antiangiogenics; chemotherapy; first line; ramucirumab; thymic carcinoma.