Combining immunotherapy with Tarceva - 1257984

Tue, 07/16/2013 - 23:02

Hi Dr. West,

I regret that I will not be able to attend the ASCO 2013 webinar this Thursday, but very much wanted to ask you and the assembled experts whether there is any clinical trial either currently running, or in the planning stages that combines an immunotherapy agent such as Ipilimumab (or other CTLA-4 or anti-PD-1 agent) with Tarceva. I was also hoping to ask how far along is the most advanced clinical trial testing one or both of these agents (either singly or in combination) in lung cancer patients.

Thanks very much,


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Hello WCW, Here are the highlights from the June ASCO conference…

And on immunotherapies specifically. It's really beginning to look promising and there is talk of combining this treatments but that hasn't been tested as the results from single agent studies are either just in or not yet completed. I too am quite hopeful for these tx.…

Dr West

My understanding is that there is a trial of ipilumumab with nivolumab that is being looked at in melanoma, NSCLC, and possibly other cancer subtypes. I believe this would be a phase II trial in these settings.

-Dr. West


The BMS CA209012 trial has an small arm (Arm E) which combines Tarceva with nivolumab (anti-PD1). However, this arm has closed. This information is available at

The TIME trial combines the MUC1 vaccine, TG4010, with Tarceva in the first-line maintenence setting. Information is available at

Hope this helps.


Thank you for your reply, Dr. Creelan. It's disappointing to hear that the BMS CA209012 trial (Arm E) is closed. I'm wondering if you happen to know why? To add to the confusion, the website to which you link lists this trial as "recruiting." I tried calling the phone number provided for the UCLA location, but it turned out to be wrong. Frustrating.

Thanks, WCW


Yes, those websites are intended as a guide only, and the information is updated periodically and inconsistently. Some other arms of that trial may be active and accruing, but my understanding is that specific arm (Tarceva + nivo) is not enrolling. The company sponsor has not made any public reports about this trial yet. One could assume that after enrolling 10-15 Tarceva+nivo patients, the original safety goal set by the sponsor was attained, but that is pure speculation. Probably safest bet is to contact the UCLA clinical trials office directly. Even if you cannot find a trial that combines a TKI with immunotherapy, I'm sure there are other trials near you that would be a good fit.