Edgardo Santos Castillero, MD, FACP:That RELAY study that has been presented recently is a study that combined erlotinib, a first-generation TKI [tyrosine kinase inhibitor], plus ramucirumab, which is an antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, an antiangiogenic agent. That combination was compared against erlotinib. This study had a primary end point of progression-free survival and was positive. This is a study of progression-free survival of 19.4 months.
What is more striking in this particular study is the fact that progression-free survival forEGFR[epidermal growth factor receptor] exon 21 was also 19.4 months. If we look at all the studies that have been published since the first TKI was approved by the regulatory entities, we have not found a longest progression-free survival in this particular groupEGFRexon 21 L858Runtil that RELAY study. In this case, this particular combination may induce a great outcome in this population. Overall survival from the RELAY study is immature, so we cannot make any comment regarding overall survival.
The particular case that we presented today is about a 63-year-old Caucasian woman with stage IV disease with anEGFRmutation, in particular L858R genomic abnormality, with a PD-L1 [programmed death-ligand 1] expression of 14%, a good performance status, and no brain lesions. This is a patient who basically is a classic, eligible participant for the RELAY study. The physician may consider the combination of erlotinib plus ramucirumab based on the profile of this particular case.
When we combine an EGFR inhibitor with a VEGF inhibitor, we will see toxicity. Most toxicity is low in gradegrade 1 to grade 2. In the particular case of the RELAY study, the most common adverse event in terms of grade 3 was hypertension, which basically goes with the adverse effect seen with the use of particular drugs, such as ramucirumab. This medication that inhibits VEGF has its own adverse effects—hypertension, proteinuria, wound-healing effects, and things like that. But in particular, on this combination, the thing that was most seen was hypertension. Also, we found that the acneiform rash from erlotinib was a little more pronounced in terms of incidence. But this medication has been on the market for years already, so we know how to handle this kind of common toxicity when we combine these medications.
Also, I would like to mention that in the RELAY study, as well as other studies that have combined EGFR and VEGF in the past, there is something really intriguing: the fact that interstitial lung disease, which is an adverse effect from the EGFR, has been seen in less incidence. There seems to be a protective effect of the VEGF inhibitor.
Transcript edited for clarity.
Case: A 63-Year-Old Woman With MetastaticEGFR+ NSCLC