Novel Therapy-Tecentriq Combo Fails to Improve Survival in an Aggressive Form of Lung Cancer

Tiragolumab plus Tecentriq and chemotherapy did not significantly improve progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer.

Preliminary data from the phase 3 SKYSCRAPER-02 study demonstrated that the anti-TIGIT immunotherapy tiragolumab plus Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and chemotherapy did not significantly improve survival in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer.

In particular, this first-line treatment regimen did not significantly improve progression-free survival (the time during and after treatment that a patient lives with cancer without worsening), according to a press release from Roche, the manufacturer of the anti-TIGIT immunotherapy. A previous short-term analysis of the data also demonstrated that the regimen did not improve overall survival (the time when a patient with cancer is still alive) and is unlikely to significantly improve this factor in the final analysis of the data.

“Today’s outcome is disappointing, as we had hoped to continue building on the advances of Tecentriq in extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer, which remains difficult to treat,” said Dr. Levi Garraway, chief medical officer and head of global product development at Roche, in the release.

Data from this phase 3 study suggested that first-line treatment with tiragolumab plus Tecentriq and chemotherapy was well tolerated in this patient population. In addition, researchers did not identify any new safety signals when tiragolumab was added to Tecentriq and chemotherapy.

Data from the SKYSCRAPER-02 study will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting, according to the release.

Small-cell lung cancer, the most aggressive form of lung cancer, is often associated with rapid disease progression and poor survival, according to the release. Tecentriq, a monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-L1 protein to potentially activate T cells, was the first immunotherapy that showed a survival benefit in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer in the phase 3 IMpower133 study. These findings led to its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making it the first approved treatment option in 20 years. Despite this progress, more treatment options are needed to improve outcomes in patients with cancers like small-cell lung cancer.

Tiragolumab is a novel immune checkpoint inhibitor that binds to TIGIT, a novel inhibitory immune checkpoint that may suppress the immune response to cancer, according to the release. Preclinical research has demonstrated that tiragolumab may amplify the immune system when added to drugs like Tecentriq.

The FDA granted tiragolumab breakthrough therapy designation in January 2021 for the front-line treatment of patients with PD-L1-high metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. This means that the FDA granted permission for tiragolumab to undergo expedited development and review because of its potential ability to treat a serious condition based on preliminary preclinical evidence. The designation by the FDA was based on findings from the phase 2 CITYSCAPE study.

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