SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.40 issue4Reflection on the pharmaceutical service in nursing homes: understanding reality to cover needsIntravenous immunoglobulins treatment for repeated reproductive failure and unexplained infertility author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  


Services on Demand




Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Farmacia Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 2171-8695Print version ISSN 1130-6343

Farm Hosp. vol.40 n.4 Toledo Jul./Aug. 2016 



Nintedanib in combination with docetaxel for second-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer; GENESIS-SEFH drug evaluation reporta

Nintedanib en combinación con docetaxel como segunda línea de tratamiento del cáncer de pulmón no microcítico localmente avanzado; informe de evaluación GENESIS-SEFH



María Espinosa Bosch1, Rocío Asensi Díez1, Sara García Agudo1 and Ana Clopés Estela2

1Hospital Regional de Málaga, Málaga.
2Hospital Duran I Reynals. Instituí Català d'Oncologia. Hospitalet, Barcelona. Spain.





Nintedanib is a triple angiokinase inhibitor that has been approved by the European Agency Medicines (EMA) in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced, metastatic or locally recurrent non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) of adenocarcinoma tumour histology, after first-line chemotherapy. In LUME-Lung 1 clinical trial, the combination of nintedanib plus docetaxel vs. placebo plus docetaxel improved progression free survival (PFS) in NSCLC patients, and improved overall survival in the population of adenocarcinoma patients, particularly in those with progression within 9 months after first line treatment initiation, median 10.9 months ( [95% CI 8.5-12.6] vs. 7.9 months [6.7-9.1]; HR 0.75 [95% CI 0.60-0.92], p=0.0073). The toxicity profile of the combination included a higher incidence of neutropenia, gastro-intestinal (GI) disorders, and liver enzyme elevations; however, this did not cause a detrimental effect on patient quality of life.
According to data from the clinical trial mentioned, the addition of nintedanib to docetaxel would lead to an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per year of life with PFS in the overall population of 134,274.47 € (notified price). In the adenocarcinoma population per each life of year gained (LYG), the ICER of adding nintedanib to docetaxel would be 40,886.14 €; while by implementing a sensitivity analysis with a 25% discount in the drug price, the cost per LYG would be 32,364.05 €, and would place it close to the threshold of cost-effectiveness usually considered acceptable in our setting. In view of efficacy and safety results the proposed positioning Is to recommend its inclusion in the Hospital Formulary only for adult patients with metastatic or locally recurrent NSCLC with adenocarcinoma histology after first line chemotherapy, with progression < 9 months from the initiation of first line treatment, taking into account the inclusion and exclusion criteria in the pivotal clinical trial.

Key words: Non small cell lung cancer; Nintedanib; Cost-effectiveness; Docetaxel.


Nintedanib es un inhibidor de la angiogénesis tumoral que está autorizado por la EMA en combinación con docetaxel para el tratamiento de pacientes adultos con cáncer de pulmón no microcítico (CPNM) localmente avanzado, metastásico o localmente recurrente con histología tumoral de adenocarcinoma después de la quimioterapia de primera línea. De acuerdo con los resultados del ensayo LUME-Lung 1, la combinación de nintedanib más docetaxel frente a monoterapia con docetaxel muestra una mejora en la supervivencia libre de progresión (SLP) en los pacientes con CPNM y mejora la supervivencia global en el grupo de pacientes con histología de adenocarcinoma, sobre todo en aquellos cuya progresión tras el inicio a la primera línea fue antes de 9 meses. El perfil de toxicidad de la combinación muestra un aumento en la incidencia de neutropenia, trastornos digestivos y aumento de transaminasas; sin embargo, esto no produjo mayor deterioro en la calidad de vida de los pacientes.
Según los datos del citado ensayo, con la adición de nintedanib a docetaxel el coste estimado de cada año de vida con SLP en la población global con el precio notificado sería de 134.274,47 €. En el grupo de adenocarcinoma, por cada año de vida ganado (AVG) con la adición de nintedanib al docetaxel el coste eficacia incremental (CEI) sería de 40.886,14 €, mientras que aplicando un análisis de sensibilidad que supusiera un descuento de un 25% el coste por AVG sería de 32.364,05 €, situándose cerca del umbral de coste-efectividad generalmente considerado en nuestro medio como aceptable. A la vista de los resultados de eficacia y seguridad, el posicionamiento propuesto es recomendar su inclusión en la Guía Farmacoterapéutica solo en pacientes adultos con CPNM metastásico o localmente recurrente con histología tumoral de adenocarcinoma después de la quimioterapia de primera línea y en los que la progresión sea < 9 meses desde el inicio de primera línea teniendo en cuenta los criterios de inclusión y exclusión del ensayo pivotal.

Palabras clave: Cáncer de pulmón no microcítico; Nintedanib; Coste-efectividad; Docetaxel.



Lung Cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer deaths in developed countries, and represents a very significant healthcare issue2. Globally, LC accounts for 13% of all new tumours diagnosed each year3. It affects around 26,700 Spanish people per year4 with an age-adjusted incidence rate of 76.8/100,000 in men and 15.7/100,000 in women, when using the European standard population as reference5.

Prevalence is low due to the poor prognosis of the disease and the low rates of survival at 1 and 5 years6. It is estimated that the prevalence at 5 years of Spanish patients with LC is 7.0% for men and 2.1% for women7.

Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents around 80% of LC cases, and has a high impact on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients and their relatives or caregivers8. The presence of symptoms such as dyspnoea, fatigue, coughing, insomnia, loss of appetite and pain, as well as the disease evolution, the presence of metastasis, and the adverse effects of antineoplastic treatments, will have a negative impact on the HRQoL of patients9.

Current treatment for advanced or metastatic NSCLC includes different drugs, depending on baseline characteristics of patients. NSCLC must be histological classified (adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma). After the failure of first line chemotherapy, the treatment will have a palliative objective: to increase survival and quality of life of patients. The drugs approved for second line treatment of patients with no specific mutations are: monotherapy with docetaxel, erlotinib and pemetrexed.

Different studies with new biologic agents have tried to improve the poor results obtained by these drugs as second line. The outcomes of three molecules with impact on overall survival (OS) have been recently published: nintedanib and ramucirumab, both in combination with docetaxel, and nivolumab.

Nintedanib (Vargatef®; Lab. Boehringer Ingelheim International) has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)10 and the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Healthcare Products (AEMPS)11, in combination with docetaxel, for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced, metastatic or locally recurrent NSCLC, with adenocarcinoma histology, after first-line chemotherapy.

Nintedanib is a tumour angiogenesis inhibitor which acts as a triple angiokinase inhibitor blocking vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR 1-3), platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFR a and 6) and fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR 1-3) kinase activity.



A randomized controlled trial has been carried out for the indication evaluated: the LUME-Lung 1 - 1199.13 study; its outcomes have been detailed in two articles: Reck et al12 published the primary efficacy and safety outcomes, while Novello et al13 published the quality of life outcomes. LUME-Lung 1 was a international Phase III, multicentre, randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled study which included adults patients with stage IIIB/IV recurrent NSCLC progressing after failure of first-line chemotherapy, stratified by ECOG performance status, previous bevacizumab treatment, histology (squamous/non-squamous), and presence of brain metastases. 1,314 patients were randomized to receive docetaxel 75 mg/m2 by intravenous infusion on day 1 plus either nintedanib 200 mg orally twice daily or matching placebo on days 2-21, every 3 weeks until unacceptable adverse events or disease progression. Eligibility criteria included Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1 and at least one target lesion measurable according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.0. Patients with active brain metastases, previous treatment with docetaxel or VEGFR inhibitors with the exception of bevacizumab or a recent history (<3 months) of clinically significant haemoptysis or a major thrombotic or clinically relevant major bleeding event in the past 6 months were also excluded from the study were excluded.

The primary endpoint was progression free survival (PFS) defined as time from randomization to progression or death according to the modified RECIST 1.0 criteria, by central independent review. Overall survival (OS) was a predefined, key secondary outcome and was assessed hierarchically: first in adenocarcinoma patients with early progression, followed by all adenocarcinoma patients and then in the overall population. Other secondary endpoints were: quality of life, PFS assessed by investigator, objective response rate and disease control rate. Table 1 shows the results of LUME-Lung 1.

The approved indication was supported by another phase III clinical trial (1199.14; LUME-Lung 2). In this trial nintedanib was evaluated in combination with pemetrexed but it was halted based on the futility analysis performed by an independent data monitoring committee and the study was unblinded. Trial 1199.14 did not pass the futility analysis, which indicated that the endpoint PFS based on investigator assessment would likely not be met. (Non-published clinical trial, information extracted from the EPAR report10).



Based on the clinical trial experience the most frequent adverse events (AEs) of the nintedanib plus docetaxel combination were: neutropenia (including febrile neutropenia), decreased appetite, electrolyte imbalance, peripheral neuropathy, bleeding, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, liver enzyme elevations (AST/ALT), alkaline phosphatase increased, mucositis, and rash. Nintedanib did not increase the haematological toxicity of docetaxel, though it caused a higher rate of diarrhoea (42.3% vs. 21.8%), increases in ALT (28.5% vs. 8.4%), nausea (24.2% vs. 18.0%), increases in AST (22.5% vs. 6.6%), decreased appetite (22.2% vs. 15.6%) and vomiting (16.9% vs. 9.3%). Most of these adverse events were manageable with supportive treatment or dose reduction; however, this did not cause a detrimental effect on patient's quality of life.

The analysis of AEs of special interest associated with antiangiogenic agents, such as hypertension, bleeding or gastrointestinal perforation, were similar in both treatment arms.

There was a higher incidence of AEs leading to death in the nintedanib arm. Time-to-death was similar for these patients when comparing the two treatment arms. Thus, it was that the add-on of nintedanib did not lead to earlier AEs leading to deaths. In the overall population in study LUME-Lung 1 the majority of AEs leading to death were due progression disease (PD). In the placebo arm 25 AEs leading to death were not attributed to PD compared to 35 in the nintedanib arm. The most common were: sepsis, pneumonia, respiratory failure and pulmonary embolism.

The safety of nintedanib in children aged 0-18 years has not been established and no data are available. The safety of nintedanib has not been studied in patients with severe renal or liver impairment.


Economic area

On December, 1st, 2015, the notified price for nintedanib (Vargatef®) 100 mg in a package with 120 capsules was 2,403.85€ (List Price).

The economic evaluation has been performed with the notified price (Scenario 1, Tables 2 and 3), and a sensitivity analysis has been performed, because its price will be probably lower in the Public Health System; therefore, we have applied a 25% discount rate, determining the price per capsule 5€ cheaper than the notified price (Scenario 2, Tables 2 and 4)b.

According to the results of LUME-Lung 1, with the addition of nintedanib to docetaxel the estimated incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of PFS in overall population would be 134,274.47€ (notified price) while applying a sensitivity analysis with a 25% discount, its ICER could be 106,340.33€.

In the adenocarcinoma population the ICER could be 40,886.14€/LYG (life of year gained) with de addition of nintedanib to docetaxel, while applying a sensitivity analysis with a 25% discount, the ICER would be lower: 32,364.05€/LYG.

In terms of the budget impact at national level, we considered that around 26,715 lung cancer cases were diagnosed in 2012th year in Spain14. 55% of the cases diagnosed were NSCLC in Stage IIIB and IV, candidate to non-surgical treatment (14,693)15. In terms of histology, 38% of these patients would have adenocarcinoma (5,583)16,17. According to the study by Leighl18, mentioned in the article that describes the outcomes of the pivotal study, approximately 30% are candidate to receiving second line treatment. This represents approximately 1,675 patients candidate to receiving second line treatment per year.

If all these patients were treated with the nintedanib plus docetaxel combination, the budget impact at national level would be between 13 and 10 million of Euros, depending on the price considered: whether the notified price or price with 25% discount, respectively.

Probably, not all NSCLC patients with adenocarcinoma in second line will be candidate to receive chemotherapy with docetaxel; therefore, this budget impact could be even lower.


Additional Considerations

Nintedanib is a triple angiokinase inhibitor that has been evaluated in two phase III clinical trials for NS-CLC: LUME-Lung 1 and LUME-Lung 2. The LUME-Lung 1 trial provided evidence of a difference in PFS in favour of nintedanib that was statistically significant and clinically relevant in the overall population with NSCLC. The efficacy outcomes in the population with adenocarcinoma state a significant effect in OS. Both the LUME-Lung 1 and the LUME-Lung 2 studies support the beneficial effect of nintedanib on the population with adenocarcinoma.

The LUME-Lung 2 clinical trial for nintedanib plus pemetrexed vs. placebo plus pemetrexed generated the hypothesis that patients who progressed in the first 9 months after initiating their first line of chemotherapy or patients with adenocarcinoma were the most benefited from treatment with nintedanib. This generated a change in the statistical plan of the LUME-Lung 1 trial, through an amendment before closing the database, which did not affect the initial analysis of PFS but had an impact on the final OS analysis, replacing it by a rank analysis. The LUME-Lung 2 had to be prematurely halted, because the expected outcomes were not achieved in a futility analysis, though a subsequent data review showed a tendency in favour of the experimental arm10.

In LUME-Lung 1, at the time of final analysis (median follow-up of 31.7months), nintedanib plus docetaxel significantly prolonged OS by 3 months in adenocarcinoma patients with early progression and by 2.3 months in all adenocarcinoma patients relative to placebo plus docetaxel. No significant between-group difference in OS was seen in the overall population. This outcome shows a statistically significant effect; it is clinically small, though it can be considered relevant within the context in which it has been evaluated. The hazard ratio (HR) for OS in the adenocarcinoma population was 0.83 (CI 95% 0.7-0.99); p=0.0359. In patients with adenocarcinoma and progression < 9 months after the initiation of first line treatment, outcomes were slightly better, because the HR for OS was 0.75 (CI 95% 0.6-0.92); p=0.0073, with a difference of 3 months in favour of the nintedanib arm, though it is not known whether patient characteristics have been well balanced in this group.

In the analysis of OS by adenocarcinoma patient groups ranked according to their baseline characteristics, a different tendency is shown in OS between patients with <9 months from the initiation of first line treatment and without brain metastasis, however these differences are not statistically significant.

The LUME-Lung 1 study is a well-designed clinical trial, with a low risk of bias. It was conducted as a blind clinical trial until its completion. The baseline characteristics of patients (including the adenocarcinoma population) were well balanced. Comparison with docetaxel was considered adequate.

Nintedanib is an oral drug. The recommended dose of nintedanib is 200 mg twice daily administered approximately 12 hours apart, on days 2 to 21 of a standard 21 day docetaxel treatment cycle. Nintedanib do not improve patient convenience because it does not prevent patients from attending a chemotherapy unit to receive IV treatment.

Currently, the drugs approved for second line treatment in patients with no specific mutations are: docetaxel, erlotinib and pemetrexed as monotherapy.

Different studies with new biologic agents have tried to improve the poor results obtained by these drugs as second line treatment. In this context, three molecules have appeared with impact on OS: nintedanib and ramucirumab, both in combination with docetaxel, and nivolumab as monotherapy.

The Spanish therapeutic positioning report19 has been published and its conclusions are that those patients candidate to receive second line treatment with ninte-danib in combination with docetaxel would be those for whom the status of the activating mutation EGFR is unknown or negative, after a first line of chemotherapy, as long as the first line has not included docetaxel or VEGF inhibitors, except for bevacizumab.

Regarding the economic evaluation, and considering that in Spain no ICER value has been officially established, it is suggested to take as reference the value most frequently used in Spain, according to bibliography: 30.000€/QALY (quality of life-adjusted life year). Taking into account the notified price, the efficiency threshold is slightly exceeded. Through the discount assessed in the sensitivity analysis, the result achieved is very close to the value considered efficient.


Conclusion, Therapeutic Positioning and Conditions of Use

In view of the efficacy and safety results, the proposed positioning is considered Category D-1: It is included in the Formulary with specific recommendations: Use for adult patients with the following characteristics:

• Metastatic or locally recurrent NSCLC with adenocarcinoma histology after first line chemotherapy, and with progression < 9 months since first line treatment initiation.

• Life expectancy >3 months.

• Good Performance Status. ECOG 0-1.

• The status of the activating mutation EGFR is not known or negative, and there is no ALK translocation.

The following will not be considered adequate for treatment with nintedanib:

• Patients who have received more than one previous line of treatment.

• Patients who have received previous treatment with VEGFR, except for bevacizumab.

• Patients who present active brain metastasis.

• Patients who present clinically relevant cardiovascular disease (uncontrolled hypertension, unstable angina, previous history of myocardial infarction within the last 6 months, heart failure, relevant arrhythmia, and any other considered relevant).

• Patients who have received previous treatment with docetaxel.


Conflict of Interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


a This paper is an abstract of Nintedanib drug evaluation report by GENESIS-SEFH (Group for Innovation, Assessment, Standardization and Research in the Selection of Drugs of the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy) that can be retrieved in his entire form from GENESIS web ( This evaluation has been made with the aid of MADRE 4.0 application!.



1. Marín R, Puigventós F, Fraga MD, Ortega A, López-Briz E, Arocas V, et al.; Group for Innovation, Assessment, Standardisation and Research in the Selection of Drugs (GENESIS) of the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy (SEFH). Support method for decision making in assessment and appraisal of medicines (MADRE). Version 4.0. Madrid: SEFH (ed.); 2013. Available at:         [ Links ]

2. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C, Parkin DM. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC Cancer Base No. 10 (Internet). Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010 (accessed 2015 Dec 28). Available at:         [ Links ]

3. Jemal A, Bray F, Center MM, Ferlay J, Ward E, Forman D. Global Cancer Statistics. CA Cancer J Clin. 2011; 61:69-90.         [ Links ]

4. Las cifras del cancer en España 2014, SEOM (Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica) (accessed 2015 Dec 28). Available from:         [ Links ]

5. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, Rosso S, Coebergh JW, Comber H, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: estimates for 40 countries in 2012. Eur J Cancer. 2013; 49:1374-403.         [ Links ]

6. Salmerón D, Chirlaque MD, Isabel Izarzugaza M, Sánchez MJ, Marcos-Gragera R, Ardanaz E, et al. Lung cancer prognosis in Spain: the role of histology, age and sex. Respir Med. 2012; 106:1301-8.         [ Links ]

7. Ferlay J, Parkin DM, Steliarova-Foucher E. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in Europe in 2008. Eur J Cancer. 2010; 46:765-81.         [ Links ]

8. Sarna L, Padilla G, Holmes C, Tashkin D, Brecht ML, Evangelista L. Quality of life of long-term survivors of non-small cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2002; 20: 2920-9.         [ Links ]

9. Larsson M, Ljung L, Johansson BB. Health-related quality of life in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: correlates and comparisons to normative data. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2012; 21:642-9.         [ Links ]

10. EPAR. Public Assement Report: Vargatef®_ 08/01/2015 (accessed 2015 Dec 28). Available from:         [ Links ]

11. Ficha técnica de Vargatef®. Agencia española de medicamentos y productos sanitarios (cited 2015 Dec 28). Available from:         [ Links ]

12. Reck M, Kaiser R, Mellemgaard A, Douillard JY, Orlov S, Krzakowski M, et al. Docetaxel plus nintedanib versus docetaxel plus placebo in patients with previously treated non-small-cell lung cancer (LUME-Lung 1): a phase 3, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2014; 15:143-55.         [ Links ]

13. Novello S, Kaiser R, Mellemgaard A, Douillard JY, Orlov S, Krzakowski M, et al. Analysis of patient-reported outcomes from the LUME-Lung 1 trial: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase III study of second-line nintedanib in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51:317-26.         [ Links ]

14. Spain. Estimated cancer prevalence, adult population: both sexes. GLOBOCAN 2012, IARC (cited 2015 Dec 28). Available from:         [ Links ]

15. National Lung Cancer Audit (LUCADA 2007). Key findings about the quality of care for people with Lung Cancer in England and Wales, for the audit period 2006.The Information Centre (accessed 2015 Dec 28). Available from:         [ Links ]

16. Sánchez de Cos Escuin J. El cáncer de pulmón en España. Epidemiología, supervivencia y tratamientos actuales. Arch Bronconeumol. 2009; 45:341-8.         [ Links ]

17. Sánchez de Cos Escuin J, Miravet Sorribes L, Abal Arca J, Nuñez Ares A, Hernández Hernández J, Castañar Jover, et al. Estudio multicéntrico epidemiológico-clínico de cáncer de pulmón en España (estudio EpicliCP-2003). Arch Bronconeumol. 2006; 42:446-52.         [ Links ]

18. Leighl NB. Treatment paradigms for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer: first-, second-, and third-line. Curr Oncol. 2012; 19: S52-8.         [ Links ]

19. Informe de Posicionamiento Terapéutico de nintedanib (Vargatef®) en cáncer de pulmón no microcítico. PT-NINTEDANIB-CA_PULMÓN/V1/21122015 (cited 2015 Dec 28). Available from:         [ Links ]



Correo electrónico:
(María Bosch).

Recibido el 12 de enero de 2016;
Aceptado el 13 de abril de 2016.

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License