A trial of MK-7684A and chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer (KeyVibe-008)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Secondary cancers
Small cell lung cancer




Phase 3

This trial is looking at a new drug called MK-7684A with chemotherapy to treat small cell lung cancer. 

It is for people whose cancer has spread within the chest or to other parts of the body. This is called extensive disease.

More about this trial

You may have chemotherapy and atezolizumab as the first treatment for extensive small cell lung cancer

The usual chemotherapy drugs you might have as your first treatment are carboplatin and etoposide. Atezolizumab is an immunotherapy. It helps your immune system Open a glossary item to find and kill cancer cells. 

Researchers are looking at ways to improve treatment. In this trial they are looking at a new drug called MK-7684A with chemotherapy. MK-7684 is made up of 2 drugs called MK-7684 and pembrolizumab. They are both types of immunotherapies. 

In this trial some people have MK-7684A and chemotherapy. And some have atezolizumab and chemotherapy. 

The main aims of the trial are to find out:

  • if it is safe to have MK-7684A and chemotherapy
  • how well MK-7684A and chemotherapy work compared to atezolizumab and chemotherapy
  • more about the side effects
  • how treatment affects quality of life Open a glossary item

Who can enter

The following bullet points are a summary of the entry conditions for this trial. Talk to your doctor or the trial team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you. 

Who can take part

You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply. You:

  • have extensive stage small cell lung cancer that is newly diagnosed
  • have a large area of cancer, and or more than one area of cancer in the lung and these cannot be treated with radiotherapy. Or it has spread to other parts of the body.
  • have cancer that the doctor can measure on a scan 
  • have a sample of tissue (biopsy) Open a glossary item available for the trial team to test or you are willing to give a new sample
  • are fully active but might not be able to do heavy physical work (performance status of 0 or 1)
  • have satisfactory blood test results
  • are willing to use reliable contraception during the trial and for a period after if there is any chance you or your partner could become pregnant
  • are at least 18 years old 

Who can’t take part

Cancer related 
You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You:

  • have cancer that has spread to the brain, tissues around the brain or to the spinal cord unless it has been treated and is stable. In some cases you might be able to take part if you haven’t had treatment for cancer spread to the brain. Your doctor can tell you more about this.
  • have already had treatment for small cell lung cancer. This doesn’t include having palliative Open a glossary item radiotherapy.
  • need to have another cancer treatment for small cell lung cancer while you are in this trial. This might not apply if you are going to have radiotherapy to a single area of cancer or to the brain.
  • are taking an experimental treatment or using a device as part of a clinical trial in the 4 weeks before joining this trial 

Medical conditions
You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You:

  • have a problem with how your immune system Open a glossary item works or you are having long term steroids unless it is a low dose
  • have another cancer that is getting worse or needed treatment in the last 3 years. You can take part if you had non melanoma skin cancer Open a glossary item or carcinoma in situ (CIS Open a glossary item) that has been successfully treated.
  • have an autoimmune condition Open a glossary item that needed treatment in the last 2 years apart from certain ones. Your doctor will know this.
  • had or have scarring of the lung tissue or inflammation of the lung that needs treatment
  • have a problem with your nerves caused by cancer. This can cause problems with coordination, changes to your senses, memory or thinking skills, or sleep problems. Your doctor will know about this.
  • have HIV, you have had hepatitis B or an active hepatitis C infection or you have any other infection that needs treatment 
  • have had a stem cell transplant with someone else’s cells (an allogeneic transplant Open a glossary item) or an organ transplant Open a glossary item
  • have had major surgery in the 3 weeks before you start trial treatment or you have side effects from past treatments that aren’t getting better
  • have areas of fluid in the body that are causing symptoms or you have fluid on the lung. You might be able to join if you have had treatment for this and it isn’t getting worse.
  • have any other medical condition or mental health problem that isn’t well controlled with medication that the trial team think could affect you taking part

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You:

  • are allergic to the trial treatments or anything they contain
  • have had a live vaccination Open a glossary item in the 30 days before the first dose of trial treatment
  • have a problem with drugs or alcohol 
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trial design

This phase 3 trial is taking place worldwide. The team need to find 450 people to take part including 6 from the UK. 

It is a randomised trial. A computer puts you into a group. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in. Nor will you know which group you are in. The trial doctor can find this out if necessary. 

Trial treatment 
There are 2 treatment groups. You have 1 of the following:

  • MK-7684A and chemotherapy (group 1)
  • atezolizumab and chemotherapy (group 2)

You have treatment every 3 weeks. Each 3 week period is a cycle of treatment Open a glossary item. On the first day of each cycle you have the following:

You also have etoposide on day 2 and day 3. 

You have all your treatment as a drip into a vein. You have chemotherapy for up to 12 weeks in total.  

You have MK-7684A or atezolizumab for as long as it is working and the side effects aren’t too bad. They take about an hour the first time you have them. After that they take about 30 minutes each time. 

You stop trial treatment if your cancer gets worse. Your doctor will talk to you about other treatment options if this happens. 

Research samples
You give extra blood samples as part of the trial. Where possible the team take these when you have your routine blood tests.

The team ask for a piece of a tissue sample (biopsy) Open a glossary item you had previously. You must agree to give a new tissue sample if there isn’t one available. 

They will use these samples to:

  • learn more about lung cancer and treatment for it
  • look for substances called biomarkers Open a glossary item
  • look at genes Open a glossary item in cancer cells

Quality of life
The trial team ask you to fill out a questionnaire on an electronic device:

  • before you start treatment
  • at set times during treatment

The questionnaire asks about side effects and how you’ve been feeling. This is called a quality of life study.

Hospital visits

You see the doctor and have tests before you can take part. These include:

You might have a hearing test if you have cisplatin.

You have all your treatment at the hospital on the day care ward. Each visit takes between 2 and 5 hours.

Trial scans
You have a CT or MRI scan of the pelvis, chest and abdomen (tummy area):

  • every 6 weeks for the first year and then
  • every 9 weeks after that

You also have a CT or MRI scan of the brain every:

  • 3 months for the first year and then
  • every 6 months

You stop having scans as part of the trial if your cancer gets worse.

Follow up
When you finish treatment you see the trial doctor a month later for a check up. They continue to follow you up every 3 months to see how you are. This might be at a routine hospital appointment or they might call you.

Side effects

The trial team monitor you during treatment and afterwards. Contact your advice line or tell your doctor or nurse if any side effects are bad or not getting better. 

MK-7684A and atezolizumab can affect the immune system. It may cause inflammation in different parts of the body. This can cause serious side effects. They could happen during treatment, or some months after treatment has finished. Rarely, these side effects could be life threatening. Your doctor or nurse can explain what these side effects are, the risk of them happening and what to look out for.
If you have any of these side effects tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible. You should tell them that you are on or have been on an immunotherapy.


MK-7684A is a new drug so there might be side effects we don’t know about yet. The side effects we know about so far include:

The trial team will talk to you about the side effects of all the treatments before you join the trial. You’ll have a chance to ask any questions you may have. 

We have information about the following drugs and their side effects:

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Raffaele Califano

Supported by

Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC 

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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