For the first time, and like many other conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the IASLC 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) will be going virtual. It still aims to continue to be the leading gathering of international scientists, researchers and patient advocates in the field of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies, and provide a forum to connect, share knowledge and learn about the latest developments in the research and treatments of thoracic malignancies.
The WCLC event will take place between the 28th and the 31st of January. This year, MEDSIR will communicate the design of the recently-initiated LUPER clinical trial, an investigator-initiated phase I-II study evaluating the combination of lurbinectedin with pembrolizumab in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients.
The LUPER study is a phase I/II, Multicenter, Clinical and Pharmacokinetic Study that will evaluate the combination of Lurbinectedin and Pembrolizumab in patients with relapsed SCLC. SCLC accounts for approximately 15% of all lung cancer and is the leading cause of cancer death among men and the second leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. The prognosis of patients with SCLC is poor, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5% and an average overall survival period of only 2–4 months for patients not receiving any active treatment.
Chemotherapy is the backbone of SCLC therapy, particularly in the extensive disease stage. Initial response to chemotherapy is found in up to 80% of SCLC patients; however, disease relapse/progression will ultimately occur in almost all patients, whose median survival is seldom longer than several weeks. Consequently, there is a clear need for therapeutic options in this population.
Lurbinectedin is a molecule that inhibits RNA polymerase, an enzyme crucially involved in the transcription of genes related with tumor growth. Pembrolizumab is an immunomodulating agent that blocks the PD-1 protein, improving the anti-tumor activity of the immune system. Both drugs have shown promising results in SCLC patients separately, but this is the first time that the combination is tested in the relapsed setting of the disease, which is in dire need for novel therapeutic approaches.
During the Phase I trial, the LUPER study will evaluate the maximum tolerated dose of lurbinectedin in combination with pembrolizumab, in order to define a recommended dose to be tested in the second part of the study. In the subsequent Phase II trial, the safety and efficacy of the combination in the selected population of patients will be evaluated, in order to explore the potential role of the treatment in improving the patients’ progression-free survival.
If successful, the trial results could pave the way for a new therapeutic option in relapsed SCLC, a difficult clinical setting in need of novel approaches with improved efficacy.
Dr. Antonio Calles, from the Medical Oncology Department of the Gregorio Marañón University Hospital in Madrid (Spain), designed the LUPER clinical trial and acts as its scientific director. He will present the study this coming Thursday 28th of January during the WCLC Poster Session. You can find the poster here.
· Abstract title: Lurbinectedin in Combination with Pembrolizumab for Patients with Relapsed Small Cell Lung Cancer. LUPER Clinical Trial
· Abstract number: P48.06
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