Therapeutic drug monitoring guided dosing versus standard dosing of alectinib in advanced ALK positive non-small cell lung cancer patients: Study protocol for an international, multicenter phase IV randomized controlled trial (ADAPT ALEC)

Marinda Meertens, M. Benthe Muntinghe-Wagenaar, Barend J. Sikkema, Marta Lopez-Yurda, Valesca P. Retèl, Marthe S. Paats, Rob ter Heine, Ed Schuuring, Wim Timens, Daan J. Touw, Job F. M. van Boven, Adrianus. J. de Langen, Sayed M. S. Hashemi, Lizza E. L. Hendriks, Sander Croes, Michel M. van den Heuvel, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans, Ron H. J. Mathijssen, Egbert F. Smit, Alwin D. R. HuitemaNeeltje Steeghs, Anthonie J. van der Wekken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Alectinib is first-line therapy in patients with stage IV non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) and an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion. A shorter median progression-free survival (mPFS) was observed when alectinib minimum plasma concentrations during steady state (C min,SS) were below 435 ng/mL. This may suggest that patients should have an alectinib C min,SS ≥ 435 ng/mL for a more favorable outcome. This potential target could be attained by using therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), i.e. adjusting the dose based on measured plasma trough concentrations. Hypothetically, this will increase mPFS, but this has not yet been evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Therefore, the ADAPT ALEC trial is designed, with the primary objective to prolong mPFS in NSCLC patients treated with alectinib by using TDM. Methods: ADAPT ALEC is a multicenter, phase IV RCT, in which patients aged ≥ 18 years with advanced ALK positive (+) NSCLC eligible for alectinib in daily care are enrolled. Participants will be randomized (1:1 ratio) into intervention arm A (TDM) or B (control), stratified by brain metastases and prior ALK treatments. Starting dose in both arms is the approved flat fixed dose of alectinib 600 mg taken twice daily with food. In case of alectinib C min,SS < 435 ng/mL, arm A will receive increased doses of alectinib till C min,SS≥ 435 ng/mL when considered tolerable. The primary outcome is mPFS, where progressive disease is defined according to RECIST v1.1 or all-cause death and assessed by CT-scans and MRI brain. Secondary endpoints are feasibility and tolerability of TDM, patient and physician adherence, overall response rate, median overall survival, intracranial PFS, quality of life, toxicity, alectinib-M4 concentrations and cost-effectiveness of TDM. Exploratory endpoints are circulating tumor DNA and body composition. Discussion: The ADAPT ALEC will show whether treatment outcomes of patients with advanced ALK+ NSCLC improve when using TDM-guided dosing of alectinib instead of fixed dosing. The results will provide high quality evidence for deciding whether TDM should be implemented as standard of care and this will have important consequences for the prescribing of alectinib. Clinical trial registration:, identifier NCT05525338.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1136221
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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