Article Abstract

Retrospective analysis of docetaxel in combination with ramucirumab for previously treated non-small cell lung cancer patients

Authors: Akihiro Yoshimura, Tadaaki Yamada, Yusuke Okuma, Rui Kitadai, Takayuki Takeda, Takanori Kanematsu, Hisatsugu Goto, Hiroto Yoneda, Taishi Harada, Yutaka Kubota, Takahiro Yamada, Koji Date, Shinsuke Shiotsu, Kazuhiro Nagata, Yusuke Chihara, Yoshiko Kaneko, Junji Uchino, Yasuhiko Nishioka, Koichi Takayama


Background: Current clinical trials demonstrated that combination regimens comprising chemotherapy and immunotherapy lead to better patient outcomes compared to chemotherapy alone as the first line of treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In addition, the combination therapy of docetaxel (Doc) and ramucirumab (Ram) was considered one of the standard treatments for advanced or relapsed NSCLC patients. However, little is known about the therapeutic responders of this combination therapy among previously treated NSCLC patients. In the present study, we aimed to identify predictive factors for therapeutic response, including programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in tumors, for Doc treatment in combination with Ram.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed a total of 135 advanced or relapsed NSCLC patients who were refractory to platinum-based chemotherapy at eleven institutions in Japan between July 2016 and November 2018.
Results: Our observations showed that PD-L1 expression in tumors is not associated with the efficacy of combined therapy of Doc and Ram in previously treated NSCLC patients. Analysis of the patient clinical profiles indicated that prior treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) is a reliable predictor for the good progression-free survival (PFS) to this combination therapy (P=0.041).
Conclusions: Our retrospective study indicated that combination regimens comprising chemotherapy and ICIs followed by Doc and Ram could be an optimal therapeutic option for NSCLC patients regardless of the PD-L1 status of tumors. Further investigations are required to strengthen clinical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the combination therapy of Doc plus Ram in previously treated NSCLC patients.