There are limited treatment options available for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The SAKK 17/18 trial will investigate the combination of gemcitabine and atezolizumab, which has shown good efficacy in pre-clinical trials.
The treatment of patients with metastatic lung cancer has improved greatly in the past few years thanks to targeted therapies and immunotherapies. However, the treatment options remain limited should a tumor recur despite these therapies. Immunotherapy also appears to be a promising treatment option for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), and is currently being investigated in trials. The problem with both types of tumor is that most patients develop resistance at some point during immunotherapy.
Combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy
Pre-clinical ; pos: bottom-left">in-vitro trials have shown that the combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy can have positive effects. The SAKK 17/18 trial will therefore examine the simultaneous administration of atezolizumab and gemcitabine. Both active substances are approved in Switzerland for the treatment of NSCLC and other conditions.
The trial is open to patients with either advanced NSCLC or inoperable MPM who have experienced a tumor recurrence or progression at an advanced stage following immunotherapy or immunochemotherapy. The trial will include 37 patients with NSCLC and 30 patients with MPM. The trial therapy will last for a maximum of two years. If at the end of the two years it becomes clear that the patient could continue to benefit from the therapy, this may be continued outside of the trial.