publication date: Aug. 3, 2017

Lung cancer

First-line immunotherapy treatment can improve survival for subset of lung cancer patients

Findings from a phase III clinical trial for advanced lung cancer patients could help oncologists better predict which patients are likely to receive the most benefit from immunotherapy as a first-line treatment based on the unique molecular characteristics of their tumor, according to a new study reported by a global team led by David Carbone of Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

In this study, researchers compared the effectiveness of the immunotherapy drug nivolumab, with standard-of-care chemotherapy in 541 patients with previously untreated or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer that expressed PDL-1 antibodies.

Nivolumab is part of a class of immunotherapy drugs known as PD-1 blocking antibodies. These drugs work by targeting the PDL-1 receptor, a known immunotherapy biomarker for lung and other cancers, to boost immune responses to the cancer.

Patients were randomized to receive either immunotherapy or standard-of-care chemotherapy. About 60 percent of patients treated on the trial ultimately crossed over to the immunotherapy treatment arm due to disease progression.

Results from this new study show nivolumab did not result in longer progression-free survival compared with chemotherapy in the overall population. The response rate for patients receiving nivolumab was 26.1 percent, with a 12.1 month median duration of response before disease progression.

The response rate for patients treated on the chemotherapy arm was 33.5 percent, but median duration of response was just 5.7 months before disease progression.

Patients with both high tumor mutation burden and high PDL-1 positive status had a 75 percent response rate compared with a 16 percent response rate to immunotherapy among patients with low mutation burden and low PDL-1.

These same two groups had 25 … Continue reading CCL July 2017 – First-line immunotherapy treatment can improve survival for subset of lung cancer patients

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