Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

SITC 2020: Bemcentinib and Pembrolizumab in Stage IV Lung Adenocarcinoma

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Monday, November 30, 2020

James Spicer, MD, PhD, of Guy’s Hospital and King’s College London, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitor therapy in lung adenocarcinoma in combination with the selective AXL kinase inhibitor bemcentinib. Their study, which revealed early clinical activity with the combination therapy, was presented at the 2020 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting (Abstract 362) and published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.

For this phase II, two-stage, single-arm study, a total of 66 patients were analyzed. All patients with previously treated stage IV lung adenocarcinoma were given 200 mg daily of bemcentinib and 200 mg of pembrolizumab once every 3 weeks. They were split into three cohorts: A, B, and C, which consisted of chemotherapy-pretreated immuno-oncology–naive patients, patients experiencing disease progression on prior immuno-oncology therapy, and those who received a combination of pembrolizumab and chemotherapy.

Results from cohort A were previously recorded, and from cohort C are yet to be determined. Of cohort B, eight patients were positive for AXL (composite of tumor and immune cell score), whereas five were negative for AXL. The PD-L1 Tumor Proportion Scores were greater than 50%, 1% to 49%, and less than 1% for five, five, and three patients, respectively. Of the patients who underwent one and two or more checkpoint inhibitor therapy lines, 75% and 33% tested positive for AXL, and none and 50% tested negative for AXL, respectively.

The most common treatment-emergent adverse effects for patients with one and two or more lines of therapy that were grade 3 or higher included increased alanine aminotransferase levels (29% and 10%), aspartate aminotransferase levels (29% and 5%), and diarrhea (29% and 1%). In AXL-positive individuals, partial response occurred in one patient, and stable disease occurred in five patients. The median progression-free survival in AXL-positive versus AXL-negative patients was 4.7 versus 1.9 months, respectively.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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