ASCEND-7: Efficacy and Safety of Ceritinib Treatment in Patients with ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Metastatic to the Brain and/or Leptomeninges

Laura Q.M. Chow, Fabrice Barlesi, Erin M. Bertino, Martin J. Van Den Bent, Heather A. Wakelee, Patrick Y. Wen, Chao Hua Chiu, Sergey Orlov, Rita Chiari, Margarita Majem, Mark McKeage, Chong Jen Yu, Pilar Garrido, Felipe K. Hurtado, Pilar Cazorla Arratia, Yuanbo Song, Fabrice Branle, Michael Shi, Dong Wan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose:Central nervous systemmetastases are a prominent cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with ALK-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The phase II ASCEND-7 (NCT02336451) study was specifically designed to assess the efficacy and safety of the ALK inhibitor (ALKi) ceritinib in patients with ALK+ NSCLC metastatic to the brain and/or leptomeninges. Patients and Methods: Patients with active brain metastases were allocated to study arms 1 to 4 based on prior exposure to an ALKi and/or prior brain radiation (arm 1: prior radiotherapy/ALKipretreated; arm 2: no radiotherapy/ALKi-pretreated; arm 3: prior radiotherapy/ALKi-naïve; arm 4: no radiotherapy/ALKi-naïve). Arm 5 included patients with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. Patients received ceritinib 750 mg once daily (fasted condition). Primary endpoint was investigator-assessed whole-body overall response rate (ORR) per RECIST v1.1. Secondary endpoints included disease control rate (DCR) and intracranial/extracranial responses. Results: Per investigator assessment, in arms 1 (n = 42), 2 (n = 40), 3 (n = 12), and 4 (n = 44), respectively: whole-body ORRs [95% confidence interval (CI)] were 35.7% (21.6-52.0), 30.0% (16.6-46.5), 50.0% (21.1-78.9), and 59.1% (43.2-73.7); whole-body DCR (95% CI): 66.7% (50.5-80.4), 82.5% (67.2- 92.7), 66.7% (34.9-90.1), and 70.5% (54.8-83.2); intracranial ORRs (95% CI): 39.3% (21.5-59.4), 27.6% (12.7-47.2), 28.6% (3.7-71.0), and 51.5% (33.5-69.2). In arm 5 (n = 18), whole-body ORR was 16.7% (95% CI, 3.6-41.4) and DCR was 66.7% (95% CI, 41.0-86.7). Paired cerebrospinal fluid and plasma sampling revealed that ceritinib penetrated the human blood-brain barrier. Conclusions: Ceritinib showed antitumor activity in patients with ALK+ NSCLC with active brain metastases and/or leptomeningeal disease, and could be considered in the management of intracranial disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2506-2516
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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