Background: Talactoferrin alfa is an oral dendritic cell (DC)-mediated immunotherapy (DCMI). We tested whether talactoferrin was superior to placebo in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients and methods: An FORTIS-M trial was an international, multicenter, randomized, double-blind comparison of talactoferrin (1.5 g p.o. BID) versus placebo BID, in patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC whose disease had failed two or more prior regimens. Treatment was administered for a maximum of five 14-week cycles. The primary efficacy end point was overall survival (OS); secondary end points included 6- and 12-month survival, progression-free survival (PFS), and disease control rate (DCR). Results: Seven hundred and forty-two patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to talactoferrin (497) or placebo (245). The median OS in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population was 7.66 months in the placebo arm and 7.49 months in the talactoferrin arm [hazard ratio (HR), 1.04; 95% CI, 0.873-1.24; P = 0.6602]. The 6-month survival rates were 59.9% (95% CI, 53.4% to 65.8%) and 55.7% (95% CI, 51.1% to 59.9%), respectively. The 12-month survival rates were 32.2% (95% CI, 26.3% to 38.2%) and 30.9% (95% CI, 26.8% to 35%), respectively. The median PFS rates were 1.64 months and 1.68 months, respectively (HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.835-1.16; P = 0.8073). The DCRs were 38.4 and 37.6%, respectively [stratified odds ratio (OR), 0.96; 95% CI, 0.698-1.33; P = 0.8336]. The safety profiles were comparable between arms. Conclusions: There was no improvement in efficacy with talactoferrin alfa in patients with advanced NSCLC whose disease had failed two or more previous regimens.
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