Cancer Precision Immunotherapy Combination of Epacadostat plus Keytruda® Demonstrates Promise in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Updated data from the advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) group of an ongoing clinical trial evaluating epacadostat combined with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) were presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.  The preliminary data showed an overall response rate (ORR) of 35 percent irrespective of PD-L1 status.

Keytruda is already FDA-approved and making a major impact in the treatment of lung, head and neck and other cancers. Keytruda, Opdivo (nivolumab) and other PD-1 inhibitors work by stimulating the immune system to recognize cancer cells.

Epacadostat is a novel drug that blocks an enzyme called IDO1, which is implicated in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Investigators have theorized that the combination may be more effective than the use of either drug as a single agent. 

About ECHO

The ECHO clinical trial program was established to investigate epacadostat as a core component of combination therapy in oncology. Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating epacadostat in combination with PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors collectively plan to enroll over 900 patients in a broad range of solid tumor types as well as hematological malignancies. The results in NSCLC patients demonstrated an ORR of 35 percent (n=14/40) among all patients with advanced NSCLC treated with the combination of epacadostat and Keytruda, with a complete response (CR) in two patients (5%) and partial response (PR) in 12 patients (30%).  For more information about the ECHO clinical trial program, visit

The updated data suggest that the combination of epacadostat and Keytruda have promise for patients with advanced NSCLC, irrespective of PD-L1 status.  The results show a clinical benefit for patients with advanced lung cancer and establish a strong basis for advancing novel, investigational immunotherapy combination into additional pivotal studies for the treatment of NSCLC.


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