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BackgroundPrevious studies in sarcoma found that a composite gene signature, including high expression of nucleotide excision repair (NER) genes (XPG and/or ERCC1) and low expression of homologous recombination repair (HR) genes (BRCA1), identifies a highly sensitive population of patients with significantly improved outcome to trabectedin. This exploratory phase II trial evaluated a customized trabectedin treatment according to this gene signature in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after the failure of standard platinum-based treatment.MethodsPatients were selected according to their mRNA expression (elevated XPG and/or ERCC1, with low BRCA1) using the following values as cutoff: XPG=0.99, ERCC1=3.47 and BRCA1=12.00. Trabectedin was administered as a 1.3mg/m(2) 3-hour intravenous infusion every 3 weeks (q3wk). The primary efficacy endpoint was the progression-free survival rate at 3 months. Objective response according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) was a secondary efficacy endpoint.ResultsTwo of 18 evaluable patients (11.1%; 95% CI, 1.38-34.7%) achieved progression-free survival rate at 3 months. The primary efficacy objective (at least 3 of 18 patients being progression-free at 3 months) was not met, and therefore the trial was early finalized. No objective responses per RECIST were achieved. Four patients had stable disease. Median PFS was 1.3 months, and median overall survival was 5.9 months. Trabectedin was usually well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to that described in patients with other tumor types.ConclusionsCustomized treatment with trabectedin 1.3mg/m(2) 3-h q3wk according to composite gene signature (XPG and/or ERCC1 overexpression, and BRCA1 underexpression) was well tolerated, but had modest activity in NSCLC patients pretreated with platinum. Therefore, further clinical trials with trabectedin as single agent in this indication are not warranted.

Original publication




Journal article


Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Publication Date





354 - 361


Hospital General Universitario de Alicante, Alicante, Spain.


Humans, Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Lung Neoplasms, Platinum, Dioxoles, Tetrahydroisoquinolines, Endonucleases, DNA-Binding Proteins, BRCA1 Protein, Nuclear Proteins, Transcription Factors, Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating, Neoplasm Staging, Treatment Outcome, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Trabectedin