TTFields Therapy Offers New Hope in Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treatment: Insights from the LUNAR Phase 3 Study.
By: Allen Wilbanks
Date: September 29, 2023
In the groundbreaking Phase 3 LUNAR study led by Dr. Ticiana Leal, MD, and her esteemed colleagues, a discovery with the potential to revolutionize the management of metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has emerged. This study focused on patients who had experienced disease progression following platinum-based therapy, a group often faced with limited treatment options.
The primary objective of the study was to assess the efficacy and safety of TTFields therapy when combined with standard systemic therapy. The results of this study were nothing short of remarkable. Dr. Leal stated, "The randomized, pivotal phase 3 LUNAR study provides level 1 evidence that TTFields therapy, an innovative, locoregional treatment method, applied concomitantly with standard systemic therapy significantly improves overall survival in patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer following progression on or after platinum-based therapy compared with standard systemic therapy alone."
One of the most noteworthy findings of the study was that TTFields therapy extended overall survival by more than 3 months. What sets this therapy apart is its ability to achieve this survival benefit without exacerbating the toxicities commonly associated with systemic treatments, offering a beacon of hope for patients in dire need.
Dr. Leal continued, highlighting the significance of this discovery, "Optimizing treatment after progression on platinum-based therapy remains an unmet need, particularly in the era of immune checkpoint inhibitors. In the LUNAR clinical study, overall survival was over 3 months longer with the addition of TTFields therapy, a clinically meaningful improvement that substantiates its use in this burdened patient population that has few other treatment options."
Furthermore, the study illuminated the potential synergy between TTFields therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors. In a subgroup receiving an immune checkpoint inhibitor, an impressive 8-month survival benefit was observed. Preclinical models suggest that TTFields therapy may enhance the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors by inducing immunogenic cell death, potentially transforming the treatment landscape for NSCLC.
Despite these promising findings, it is essential to acknowledge the study's limitations. These include its open-label design and the relatively low number of patients with brain metastases, which may affect the generalizability of the results to that specific population. Additionally, further research is warranted to comprehensively understand the relationship between TTFields therapy efficacy and tumor genetic subtypes.
In conclusion, the LUNAR study's results are a resounding call to integrate TTFields therapy into the treatment arsenal for metastatic NSCLC patients who have progressed after platinum-based therapy. This innovative locoregional approach offers hope and improved outcomes to a patient population grappling with limited therapeutic options. The potential of TTFields therapy to reshape the future of NSCLC treatment is a testament to the relentless pursuit of better solutions for our patients.