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Erlotinib Plus Ramucirumab Show Promising Activity in EGFR+ Lung Cancer

Zofia Piotrowska, MD, MHS
Published Online:8:01 PM, Mon November 25, 2019

Zofia Piotrowska, MD, MHS, a medical oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, discusses the results from the phase III RELAY trial that investigated first-generation EGFR inhibitor erlotinib (Tarceva) plus the VEGF-directed antibody ramucirumab (Cyramza) in patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer.

The results were presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting, and the trial was positive. Erlotinib plus ramucirumab led to an improvement in progression-free survival compared with erlotinib monotherapy. However, Piotrowska says it remains to be seen how this combination regimen should be incorporated into the current treatment landscape for patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer. Currently, osimertinib (Tagrisso) is the standard comparator arm for trials like RELAY.

Prior to this study, erlotinib had not been combined with a VEGF-targeted therapy, such as ramucirumab or bevacizumab (Avastin). The agent is being evaluated in combination with bevacizumab in the ECOG-ACRIN trial, and Piotrowska looks forward to hearing those results in the future.
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