A combination of capmatinib and gefitinib shows promise for patients with EGFR-mutated, MET-dysregulated non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after EGFR inhibitor failure, investigators said.
Patients with MET-amplified disease had the most robust responses, reported lead author, of the Guangdong Lung Cancer Institute in Guangzhou, China, and his colleagues.
“Patients with EGFR-mutated NSCLC usually relapse within a year, despite high response rates to EGFR-TKIs,” the authors wrote in the. MET amplification is responsible for resistance in 5%-26% of NSCLC cases with EGFR inhibitor resistance.
Capmatinib is a highly specific MET inhibitor that has been effective in preclinical models as a single agent and in combination with first- or third-generation EGFR-TKIs. It also promotes apoptosis and restores erlotinib sensitivity in erlotinib-resistant NSCLC. Gefitinib, like erlotinib, is an EGFR-TKI.
The phase 1b/2 study involved 161 patients with EGFR-mutated, MET-dysregulated (amplified/overexpressed) NSCLC who had disease progression during EGFR-TKI therapy. In the dose escalating, phase 1b portion of the study, 61 patients received capmatinib 100-800 mg daily or 200-600 mg twice daily, plus gefitinib 250 mg daily. During phase 2, 100 patients received capmatinib 400 mg twice daily plus gefitinib 250 mg daily. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR).
Across both phases of the study, approximately one-quarter of the patients responded to the drug combination (ORR = 27%). In patients with a high level of MET amplification (MET gene copy number greater than or equal to 6), responses were more common, with almost half of the patients responding (ORR = 47%).
The treatment regimen was generally well tolerated. The most common adverse events were nausea (28%), peripheral edema (22%), reduced appetite (21%), and rash (20%). Grade 3 or higher adverse events were uncommon; increased lipase and increased amylase occurred most frequently (6% for each).
“The combination of capmatinib with gefitinib has been shown to be both feasible and rational,” the authors concluded, “and the data from this study suggest that the combination of capmatinib with an EGFR-TKI may be a promising treatment option for patients with EGFR-mutated, MET-dysregulated NSCLC and particularly for patients with MET-amplified tumors.”
Novartis funded the study. The authors reported affiliations with Novartis and others.
SOURCE: Wu et al. J Clin Oncol. Aug 29. .