Background Patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) respond well to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs), but eventually become resistant in most cases. The hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met (HGF/c-Met) pathway is reported as a poor prognostic factor in various cancers. As c-Met is involved in EGFR-TKI resistance, a c-Met inhibitor and EGFR-TKI combination may reverse the resistance. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of a c-Met selective inhibitor, tivantinib (ARQ 197), in combination with erlotinib, in Japanese EGFR mutation-positive patients with NSCLC who progressed while on EGFR-TKIs. Methods This study enrolled 45 patients with NSCLC with acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs, who were orally administered a daily combination of tivantinib/erlotinib. The primary end point was the overall response rate (ORR) and secondary end points included disease control rate, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). The patients underwent a mandatory second biopsy just after progression on EGFR-TKIs. The predictive biomarkers were extensively analysed using tumour and blood samples. Results The ORR was 6.7% (95% CI 1.4% to 18.3%), and the lower limit of 95% CI did not exceed the target of 5%. The median PFS (mPFS) and median OS (mOS) were 2.7...months (95% CI 1.4 to 4.2) and 18.0...months (95% CI 13.4 to 22.2), respectively. Both were longer in c-Met high patients (c-Met high vs low: mPFS 4.1 vs 1.4...months; mOS 20.7 vs 13.9...months). Partial response was observed in three patients, all of whom were c-Met and HGF high. The common adverse events and their frequencies were similar to those known to occur with tivantinib or erlotinib alone. Conclusions Although this study did not prove clinical benefit of tivantinib in patients with acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs, activated HGF/c-Met signalling, a poor prognostic factor, may define a patient subset associated with longer survival by the tivantinib/erlotinib combination. Trial registration number NCT01580735.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research