Ramucirumab Used to Delay Relapse Following EGFR TKIs in EGFR+ NSCLC

July 12, 2019
Mark G. Kris, MD

Mark G. Kris, MD, discusses the importance of delaying relapse in patients with&nbsp;<em>EGFR</em>-positive non&ndash;small cell lung cancer. He shares the significance of the findings from the phase III RELAY trial, where the goal was to delay the time to relapse by adding ramucirumab to erlotinib.

Mark G. Kris, MD, a medical oncologist and the William and Joy Ruane Chair in Thoracic Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the importance of delaying relapse in patients withEGFR-positive non—small cell lung cancer. He shares the significance of the findings from the phase III RELAY trial, where the goal was to delay the time to relapse by adding ramucirumab (Cyramza) to erlotinib (Tarceva).

EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as erlotinib or osimertinib (Tagrisso), can causeEGFR-mutant cancers to shrink, ultimately lengthening and improving the lives of all patients with lung cancer. However, TKIs, including the newer generations, still do not cure patients.

Kris says that every patient with stage IV lung cancer will relapse, and investigators are actively looking for more ways to delay the cancer from coming back or prevent it altogether; relapse itself can be devastating for a patient, both psychically and emotionally.

Data has suggested that the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to erlotinib could lengthen the time to relapse by 6 months compared to erlotinib alone, Kris says. However, the RELAY trial shows that by using a different drug targeting angiogenesis, such as ramucirumab, time to relapse could also be delayed. This is good news as ramucirumab is widely available in the United States.