Background: The likelihood of a tumor recurrence in patients with T3-4N0-1 non-small cell lung cancer following multimodality treatment remains substantial, mainly due distant metastases. As pathological complete responses (pCR) in resected specimens are seen in only a minority (28-38%) of patients following chemoradiotherapy, we designed the INCREASE trial (EudraCT-Number: 2019-003454-83; Netherlands Trial Register number: NL8435) to assess if pCR rates could be further improved by adding short course immunotherapy to induction chemoradiotherapy. Translational studies will correlate changes in loco-regional and systemic immune status with patterns of recurrence. Methods/design: This single-arm, prospective phase II trial will enroll 29 patients with either resectable, or borderline resectable, T3-4N0-1 NSCLC. The protocol was approved by the institutional ethics committee. Study enrollment commenced in February 2020. On day 1 of guideline-recommended concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT), ipilimumab (IPI, 1 mg/kg IV) and nivolumab (NIVO, 360 mg flat dose IV) will be administered, followed by nivolumab (360 mg flat dose IV) after 3 weeks. Radiotherapy consists of once-daily doses of 2 Gy to a total of 50 Gy, and chemotherapy will consist of a platinum-doublet. An anatomical pulmonary resection is planned 6 weeks after the last day of radiotherapy. The primary study objective is to establish the safety of adding IPI/NIVO to pre-operative CRT, and its impact on pathological tumor response. Secondary objectives are to assess the impact of adding IPI/NIVO to CRT on disease free and overall survival. Exploratory objectives are to characterize tumor inflammation and the immune contexture in the tumor and tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLN), and to explore the effects of IPI/NIVO and CRT and surgery on distribution and phenotype of peripheral blood immune subsets. Discussion: The INCREASE trial will evaluate the safety and local efficacy of a combination of 4 modalities in patients with resectable, T3-4N0-1 NSCLC. Translational research will investigate the mechanisms of action and drug related adverse events. Trial registration: Netherlands Trial Registration (NTR): NL8435, Registered 03 March 2020.
Original languageEnglish
Article number764
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2020


  • Locally advanced
  • Neoadjuvant immunotherapy
  • Pathological response
  • Thoracic surgery

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