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Durvalumab (MEDI 4736) in combination with extended neoadjuvant regimens in rectal cancer: a study protocol of a randomised phase II trial (PRIME-RT)

Hanna, Catherine R., O'Cathail, Sean M., Graham, Janet S., Saunders, Mark, Samuel, Leslie, Harrison, Mark, Devlin, Lynsey, Edwards, Joanne, Gaya, Daniel R., Kelly, Caroline A., Lewsley, Liz-Anne, Maka, Noori, Morrison, Paula, Dinnett, Louise, Dillon, Susan, Gourlay, Jacqueline, Platt, Jonathan J., Thomson, Fiona, Adams, Richard A. and Roxburgh, Campbell S. D. 2021. Durvalumab (MEDI 4736) in combination with extended neoadjuvant regimens in rectal cancer: a study protocol of a randomised phase II trial (PRIME-RT). Radiation Oncology 16 (1) , 163. 10.1186/s13014-021-01888-1

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Background Advances in multi-modality treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) have resulted in low local recurrence rates, but around 30% of patients will still die from distant metastatic disease. In parallel, there is increasing recognition that with radiotherapy and systemic treatment, some patients achieve a complete response and may avoid surgical resection, including in many cases, the need for a permanent stoma. Extended neoadjuvant regimes have emerged to address these concerns. The inclusion of immunotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting has the potential to further enhance this strategy by priming the local immune microenvironment and engaging the systemic immune response. Methods PRIME-RT is a multi-centre, open label, phase II, randomised trial for patients with newly diagnosed LARC. Eligible patients will be randomised to receive either: short course radiotherapy (25 Gray in 5 fractions over one week) with concomitant durvalumab (1500 mg administered intravenously every 4 weeks), followed by FOLFOX (85 mg/m2 oxaliplatin, 350 mg folinic acid and 400 mg/m2 bolus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) given on day 1 followed by 2400 mg/m2 5-FU infusion over 46–48 h, all administered intravenously every 2 weeks), and durvalumab, or long course chemoradiotherapy (50 Gray to primary tumour in 25 fractions over 5 weeks with concomitant oral capecitabine 825 mg/m2 twice per day on days of radiotherapy) with durvalumab followed by FOLFOX and durvalumab. The primary endpoint is complete response rate in each arm. Secondary endpoints include treatment compliance, toxicity, safety, overall recurrence, proportion of patients with a permanent stoma, and survival. The study is translationally rich with collection of bio-specimens prior to, during, and following treatment in order to understand the molecular and immunological factors underpinning treatment response. The trial opened and the first patient was recruited in January 2021. The main trial will recruit up to 42 patients with LARC and commence after completion of a safety run-in that will recruit at least six patients with LARC or metastatic disease. Discussion PRIME-RT will explore if adding immunotherapy to neoadjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy for patients with LARC can prime the tumour microenvironment to improve complete response rates and stoma free survival. Sequential biopsies are a key component within the trial design that will provide new knowledge on how the tumour microenvironment changes at different time-points in response to multi-modality treatment. This expectation is that the trial will provide information to test this treatment within a large phase clinical trial.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1748-717X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 16 August 2021
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2021 09:30

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