Pragmatica-Lung Study begins enrolling patients

April 13, 2023
A streamlined model for future cancer clinical trials.

The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has helped launch a phase 3 randomized clinical trial of a two-drug combination to treat patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Called the Pragmatica-Lung Study (or S2302), this is one of the first NCI-supported clinical trials to use a trial design that removes many of the barriers that prevent people from joining clinical trials. This “pragmatic” approach aims to increase accessibility to clinical trials.

The study is part of a broader effort by NIH and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to modernize clinical trials. Pragmatic clinical trials have fewer and simpler eligibility criteria than conventional trials, while still ensuring the safety of patients. The hope is that this type of simplified trial can be less burdensome to patients and investigators, accrue study participants faster, be more representative of the real-world patient population, and serve as a model for future cancer clinical trials.

The trial will evaluate whether a combination of two FDA-approved medications, ramucirumab (Cyramza, manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda, manufactured by Merck), improves overall survival (how long people live) over standard treatment in people with advanced NSCLC whose disease has progressed after previous treatment with immunotherapy and chemotherapy.

The trial will enroll up to 700 participants from around the United States. Adults ages 18 and older with stage 4 or recurrent NSCLC who were previously treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (a type of immunotherapy) and chemotherapy will be randomly assigned to receive either ramucirumab plus pembrolizumab or standard treatment. The study will look primarily at how long patients in the two groups live and is expected to complete enrollment by the end of 2025.

Pragmatica-Lung seeks to confirm the encouraging results of a randomized phase 2 clinical trial (S1800A) conducted as part of the Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP), the first lung cancer precision medicine trial supported by NCI.

NIH release