March 9, 2021:

Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium investigators highlighted two ongoing studies during the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) World Conference on Lung Cancer, held virtually January 28-31.

Melissa Yan, MD (pictured left), a hematology-oncology fellow at the Indiana University School of Medicine, presented a featured poster (FP01.04) on BTCRC-LUN19-396, a phase II study of adjuvant chemotherapy plus atezolizumab in stage IB-IIIA resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and clearance of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

Emily Sisel (pictured right), an MD candidate at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, presented a poster (PP77.05) highlighting BTCRC-LUN15-017, a phase II study of Imprime PGG and pembrolizumab in stage IV NSCLC after progression on first-line therapy.

BTCRC LUN19-396 is a multicenter, phase II trial that aims to evaluate the role of concomitant chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor in the adjuvant setting for stage IB-IIIA resected NSCLC, and the clearance of ctDNA as a surrogate biomarker for long-term disease-free survival. The primary objective is to estimate the percentage of patients with detectable ctDNA after surgery who have clearance of ctDNA at designated time points during adjuvant therapy. The key secondary objective is to estimate the 1-year disease free survival in patients with undetectable ctDNA after 4 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy plus atezolizumab who had detectable ctDNA after surgery. The study, led by Nasser Hanna, MD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, opened to accrual in May 2020 and will enroll a total of 100 patients. Authors include: Melissa Yan, Greg Durm, Shadia Jalal, Lawrence Einhorn, Ken Kesler, Karen Rieger, Thomas Birdas, DuyKhanh Ceppa, and Nasser Hanna. See abstract.

BTCRC-LUN15-017 is a single arm, open-label phase Ib/II study evaluating the combination of pembrolizumab and Imprime PGG in metastatic NSCLC after progression on first-line systemic therapy. The study is led by Lawrence Feldman, MD, of the University of Illinois College of Medicine and the University of Illinois Cancer Center. Results from the phase Ib portion of the study were previously reported, and found the combination of Imprime PGG and pembrolizumab is well tolerated and warranted further investigation in the treatment of NSCLC. The primary objective of phase II is to estimate progression free survival benefit measured by RECIST v1.1 in subjects treated with the phase Ib determined dose of Imprime PGG in combination with pembrolizumab. Phase II has now completed accrual. Authors include: Emily Sisel, Muhammad Furqan, Jyoti Malhotra, Ardaman Shergill, Kathleen Kennedy, Li Liu, Mary Pasquinelli, and Lawrence Feldman. See abstract.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit