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Protocol for the EACH trial: a multicentre phase II study evaluating the safety and antitumour activity of the combination of avelumab, an anti-PD-L1 agent, and cetuximab, as any line treatment for patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) in the UK

Ng, Kenrick; Metcalf, Rob; Sacco, Joseph; Kong, Anthony; Wheeler, Graham; Forsyth, Sharon; Bhat, Reshma; ... Forster, Martin; + view all (2023) Protocol for the EACH trial: a multicentre phase II study evaluating the safety and antitumour activity of the combination of avelumab, an anti-PD-L1 agent, and cetuximab, as any line treatment for patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) in the UK. BMJ Open , 13 (11) , Article e070391. 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-070391. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Head and neck cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the UK. Current standard of care treatment for patients with recurrent/metastatic squamous cell head and neck carcinoma (HNSCC) is platinum-based chemotherapy combined with the anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) monoclonal antibody, cetuximab. However, most patients will have poor median overall survival (OS) of 6-9 months despite treatment. HNSCC tumours exhibit an immune landscape poised to respond to immunotherapeutic approaches, with most tumours expressing the immunosuppressive receptor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). We undertook the current study to determine the safety and efficacy of avelumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting the interaction between PD-L1 and its receptor on cytotoxic T-cells, in combination with cetuximab. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a multi-centre, single-arm dose de-escalation phase II safety and efficacy study of avelumab combined with cetuximab; the study was to progress to a randomised phase II trial, however, the study will now complete after the safety run-in component. Up to 16 participants with histologically/cytologically recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma (including HNSCC) who have not received cetuximab previously will be recruited. All patients will receive 10 mg/kg avelumab and cetuximab (500, 400 or 300 mg/m2 depending on the cohort open at time of registration) on days 1 and 15 of 4-week cycles for up to 1 year, (avelumab not given cycle 1 day 1). A modified continual reassessment method will be used to determine dose de-escalation. The primary objective is to establish the safety of the combination and to determine the optimum dose of cetuximab. Secondary objectives include assessing evidence of antitumour activity by evaluating response rates and disease control rates at 6 and 12 months as well as progression-free and OS. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approval granted by City and East REC (18/LO/0021). Findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals and disseminated at conferences. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03494322.

Type: Article
Title: Protocol for the EACH trial: a multicentre phase II study evaluating the safety and antitumour activity of the combination of avelumab, an anti-PD-L1 agent, and cetuximab, as any line treatment for patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) in the UK
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-070391
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-070391
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Keywords: Clinical trials, Head & neck tumours, ONCOLOGY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10182451
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