Smitha Krishnamurthi, MD, a medical oncologist and associate professor of medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, discusses the results of the phase III RAINBOW trial that explored ramucirumab plus paclitaxel as a second-line treatment in gastric cancer.
Ramucirumab is an antibody against VEGFR-2. In this randomized, phase III study, patients received paclitaxel chemotherapy with or without ramucirumab, Krishnamurthi says. The patients enrolled in the study received a first-line platinum- and fluoropyrimidine-based regimen.
Krishnamurthi says the trial achieved its primary endpoint by proving that the addition of ramucirumab improves overall survival (OS). The median OS for patients who received ramucirumab plus chemotherapy was 9.7 months compared with 7.4 months for paclitaxel alone.
The study also showed that the response rate was increased with ramucirumab and paclitaxel as second-line therapy. Krishnamurthi says the response rate was 28%, a high response rate for second-line therapy in gastric cancer. There was also an improvement of quality of life in the ramucirumab/paclitaxel arm.
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