Unprecedented recruitment levels for a clinical trial to treat lung cancer have sparked hope that the largest-ever trial could provide new information to treat patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

The Phase III MAGE-A3 as Adjuvant Non-Small Cell LunG CanceR ImmunoTherapy (MAGRIT) 1 trial has recruited 3,000 patients, a remarkable figure considering that less than 1% of eligible lung cancer patients traditionally enter clinical trials.

The MAGRIT trial will investigate the efficacy of MAGE-A3 (Melanoma AntiGEn-A3) antigen-specific cancer immunotherapeutic in preventing cancer relapse in patients with tumour resection during different stages of NSCLC.

European Institute of Oncology Medical Oncology Unit of Respiratory Tract and Sarcomas Dr Tommaso De Pas said that the screening rate for MAGRIT is exceptional given the challenges of such a large lung cancer trial.

“We are now working to accelerate study recruitment and answer as soon as we can how MAGE-A3 ASCI might help lung cancer patients,” De Pas said.

As about a third of NSCLC tumours are MAGE-A3 positive, it is estimated that three times as many patients will need to be screened for MAGRIT, compared to clinical studies for non-specific therapies.

Current treatments are not optimal for the vast majority of patients with NSCLC, as surgical resection, the optimal treatment so far results in a relapse record of 50–60%.