Effect of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) (150 kHz) Concurrent With Standard of Care Therapies for Treatment of Stage 4 Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Following Platinum Failure (LUNAR)

  • End date
    Sep 19, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    NovoCure Ltd.
Updated on 19 October 2020
Antonia Mahnig
Primary Contact
Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center (5.4 mi away) Contact
+164 other location


The study is a prospective, randomized controlled phase III trial aimed to test the efficacy and safety of TTFields, using the NovoTTF-100L System, concurrent with standard therapies for stage 4 NSCLC patients, following progression while on or after platinum based treatment.The device is an experimental, portable, battery operated device for chronic administration of alternating electric fields (termed TTFields or TTF) to the region of the malignant tumor, by means of surface, insulated electrode arrays.



The effect of the electric fields (TTFields, TTF) has demonstrated significant activity in in vitro and in vivo NSCLC pre-clinical models both as a single modality treatment and in combination with chemotherapies and PD-1 inhibitors. TTFields have been demonstrated to act synergistically with taxanes and have been shown to be additive when combined with PD-1 inhibitors. In addition, TTFields have shown to inhibit metastatic spread of malignant melanoma in in vivo experiment.

In a pilot study, 42 patients with advanced NSCLC who had had tumor progression after at least one line of prior chemotherapy, received pemetrexed together with TTFields (150 kHz) applied to the chest and upper abdomen until disease progression (Pless M., et al., Lung Cancer 2011). The combination was well tolerated and the only device-related adverse event was mild to moderate contact dermatitis. Efficacy endpoints were remarkably high compared to historical data for pemetrexed alone.

In addition, a phase III trial of Optune (200 kHz) as monotherapy compared to active chemotherapy in recurrent glioblastoma patients showed TTFields to be equivalent to active chemotherapy in extending survival, associated with minimal toxicity, good quality of life, and activity within the brain (14% response rate) (Stupp R., et al., EJC 2012). Finally, a phase III trial of Optune combined with maintenance temozolomide compared to maintenance temozolomide alone has shown that combined therapy led to a significant improvement in both progression free survival and overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma without the addition of high grade toxicity and without decline in quality of life (Stupp R., et al., JAMA 2015).


All patients included in this trial are patients with squamous or non-squamous, stage 4 NSCLC who had disease progression on or after receiving platinum based chemotherapy. In addition, all patients must meet all eligibility criteria.

Eligible patients will be randomly assigned to one of two groups:

Patients receive docetaxel or immune checkpoint inhibitor in combination with TTFields using the NovoTTF-100L System.

Patients receive docetaxel or immune checkpoint inhibitor without TTFields. Patients will be randomized at a 1:1 ratio. Baseline tests will be performed in patients enrolled in both arms. If assigned to the NovoTTF-100L group, the patients will be treated continuously with the device until disease progression in the thorax and/or liver according to RECIST or irRECIST (Immune-Related Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors) (depending if the patient is receiving docetaxel or immune checkpoint inhibitor, respectively).

On both arms, patients who have disease progression according to RECIST or irRECIST (depending if the patient is receiving docetaxel or immune checkpoint inhibitor, respectively) will switch to a third line treatment according to local practice.


Electric fields exert forces on electric charges similar to the way a magnet exerts forces on metallic particles within a magnetic field. These forces cause movement and rotation of electrically charged biological building blocks, much like the alignment of metallic particles seen along the lines of force radiating outwards from a magnet.

Electric fields can also cause muscles to twitch and if strong enough may heat tissues. TTFields are alternating electric fields of low intensity. This means that they change their direction repetitively many times a second. Since they change direction very rapidly (150 thousand times a second), they do not cause muscles to twitch, nor do they have any effects on other electrically activated tissues in the body (brain, nerves and heart). Since the intensities of TTFields in the body are very low, they do not cause heating.

The breakthrough finding made by Novocure was that finely tuned alternating fields of very low intensity, now termed TTFields (Tumor Treating Fields), cause a significant slowing in the growth of cancer cells. Due to the unique geometric shape of cancer cells when they are multiplying, TTFields cause electrically-charged cellular components of these cells to change their location within the dividing cell, disrupting their normal function and ultimately leading to cell death. In addition, cancer cells also contain miniature building blocks which act as tiny motors in moving essential parts of the cells from place to place. TTFields interfere with the normal orientation of these tiny motors related to other cellular components since they are electrically-charged as well. As a result of these two effects, tumor cell division is slowed, results in cellular death or reverses after continuous exposure to TTFields.

Other cells in the body (normal healthy tissues) are affected much less than cancer cells since they multiply at a much slower rate if at all. In addition TTFields can be directed to a certain part of the body, leaving sensitive areas out of their reach. Finally, the frequency of TTFields applied to each type of cancer is specific and may not damage normally dividing cells in healthy tissues.

In conclusion, TTFields hold the promise of serving as a brand new treatment for NSCLC with very few side effects.

Treatment NovoTTF-100L, PD1 inhibitors or docetaxel, Immune checkpoint inhibitors or docetaxel
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02973789
SponsorNovoCure Ltd.
Last Modified on19 October 2020

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Inclusion Criteria

Is your age greater than or equal to 22 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?
22 years of age and older
Life expectancy of 3 months
Histological diagnosis of squamous or non-squamous, inoperable, stage 4 NSCLC
Diagnosis of radiological progression while on or after first platinum-based systemic therapy
Randomization within 28 days of diagnosis of last progression
ECOG Score of 0-2
Assigned by the physician to receive either docetaxel or immune checkpoint inhibitor per standard of care regimens
Able to operate the NovoTTF-100L device independently or with the help of a caregiver
Signed informed consent for the study protocol

Exclusion Criteria

Presence of brain metastasis or leptomeningeal spread of the disease
Patients planned to receive immune checkpoint inhibitor with contra-indications to receive immunotherapy
Patients planned to receive docetaxel with contra-indications to receive docetaxel
Severe comorbidities
Clinically significant (as determined by the investigator) hematological, hepatic and renal dysfunction, defined as: Neutrophil count < 1.5 x 10^9/L and platelet count < 100 x 10^9/L; bilirubin > 1.5 x ULN; AST and/or ALT > 2.5 x ULN or > 5 x ULN if patient has documented liver metastases; and serum creatinine > 1.5 x ULN
History of significant cardiovascular disease unless the disease is well controlled. Significant cardiac disease includes second/third degree heart block; significant ischemic heart disease; poorly controlled hypertension; congestive heart failure of the New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II or worse (slight limitation of physical activity; comfortable at rest, but ordinary activity results in fatigue, palpitation or dyspnea)
History of arrhythmia that is symptomatic or requires treatment. Patients with atrial fibrillation or flutter controlled by medication are not excluded from participation in the trial
History of pericarditis
History of interstitial lung disease
History of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) within 6 months prior to randomization or that is not stable
Active infection or serious underlying medical condition that would impair the ability of the patient to received protocol therapy
History of any psychiatric condition that might impair patient's ability to understand or comply with the requirements of the study or to provide consent
Any other malignancy requiring anti-tumor treatment in the past three years, excluding treated stage I prostate cancer, in situ cervical cancer, in situ breast cancer and non-melanomatous skin cancer
Concurrent treatment with other experimental treatments for NSCLC while on the study
Implantable electronic medical devices (e.g. pacemaker, defibrillator) in the upper torso
Known allergies to medical adhesives or hydrogel
Pregnancy or breast-feeding (patients with reproductive potential must use effective contraception methods throughout the entire study period, as determined by their investigator/gynecologist)
Admitted to an institution by administrative or court order
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