Publications by authors named "Hossein Borghaei"

102 Publications

Differential prognostic effect of systemic inflammation in patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with immunotherapy or chemotherapy: A post hoc analysis of the phase 3 OAK trial.

Cancer 2022 Jun 21. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

Division of Cancer, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Background: A proinflammatory diathesis, as measured by the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), heralds an adverse disease course for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: This post hoc analysis used data from the phase 3 OAK trial (NCT02008227), which randomized previously treated patients with NSCLC to atezolizumab or docetaxel. The main objective was assessing the differential impact of the pretreatment NLR on overall survival according to the treatment modality. In addition, patients' genomic characteristics were assessed according to their inflammatory status with a circulating free DNA (cfDNA) next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis.

Results: In all, 600 and 575 patients with NLR data were included in the atezolizumab and docetaxel cohorts, respectively, with a median NLR of 4 (interquartile range, 2.6-6.7) for the pooled population. An NLR ≥4 was associated with a positive smoking status (88.6% vs. 78.1%; p < .01), male sex (66.4% vs. 57.6%; p = .01), a worse performance status (71.3% vs. 55.2%; p < .01), a higher number of metastatic sites (63.2% vs. 51.6%; p = .01), squamous histology (32.1% vs. 21.4%; p < .01), and tissue KRAS mutations (30% vs. 18.7%; p = .02) but not with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression or the tissue epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) status. A pretreatment NLR ≥4 was more strongly associated with mortality after atezolizumab (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.35-2.01) versus docetaxel (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.08-1.60; multivariable [MVA] interaction p = .0869). The HR for an increased risk of death for PD-L1-negative/NLR ≥4 patients (compared with PD-L1-positive/NLR <4 patients) was significantly higher in the atezolizumab cohort (MVA interaction p = .01). The exclusion of EGFR/ALK-positive patients further increased the prognostic ability of the baseline NLR in favor of atezolizumab (MVA interaction p = .02). Pretreatment cfDNA data from NGS showed that patients with a high blood tumor mutation burden (cutoff, 16 mut/Mb) had a higher median NLR (4.6 vs. 3.7; p = .01). After adjustments for multiple comparisons, none of the selected variants of interest (EGFR, KRAS, TP53, KEAP1, STK11, SMARCA4, ARID1A, and targeted DNA damage response and repair genes) were significantly associated with the NLR.

Conclusions: A low baseline NLR identified patients with NSCLC who derived a greater survival benefit from atezolizumab in comparison with those identified in the docetaxel cohort. The NLR could complement PD-L1 expression in tailoring treatment in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.34348DOI Listing
June 2022

The Effects of HER2 Alterations in EGFR Mutant Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.

Clin Lung Cancer 2022 01 18;23(1):52-59. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

Background: HER2 alteration (mutation and/or amplification) is associated with poor survival in NSCLC and can mediate resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed de-identified molecular information from 12,946 NSCLC samples that underwent next-generation sequencing (NGS) with Caris Life Sciences. The objectives were to determine the prevalence and type of HER2 alterations with and without EGFR as a co-mutation. Insurance claims were utilized to obtain outcomes data.

Results: Three hundred and twenty-one patients (2.5%) had HER2 alteration: mutation in 197 patients and amplification in 134. Median age was 65 years and 62% were female. A total of 84% were adenocarcinoma. HER2 exon 20 insertion was most common (69%). A total of 1551 (12%) patients had EGFR mutations. Among samples with EGFR mutations, 24 (1.5%) had concurrent HER2 alteration (8 with HER2 mutation and 16 with amplification). Among 8 patients who had both EGFR and HER2 mutations, 3 had EGFR exon 19 deletions and exon 8 HER2 mutation (S310F). One-third of the patients (7/21) with HER2 extracellular domain (ECD) mutation had co-occurring EGFR mutations. All 7 were S310. Patients with concurrent EGFR mutation and HER2 amplification had longer median time on treatment with EGFR TKI(s) than those with EGFR mutation without HER2 amplification (HR 2.284, P =.004).

Conclusion: A minority of NSCLC samples with EGFR mutations had HER2 alterations. In patients with both mutations, exon 21 mutations for EGFR and exon 8 mutations for HER2 were common. It will be critical to continue to accumulate valuable clinical data for further real-world outcomes analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2021.08.012DOI Listing
January 2022

Durvalumab with platinum-pemetrexed for unresectable pleural mesothelioma: survival, genomic and immunologic analyses from the phase 2 PrE0505 trial.

Nat Med 2021 11 8;27(11):1910-1920. Epub 2021 Nov 8.

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal cancer with limited therapeutic options until the recent approval of combination immune checkpoint blockade. Here we report the results of the phase 2 PrE0505 trial ( NCT02899195 ) of the anti-PD-L1 antibody durvalumab plus platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy for 55 patients with previously untreated, unresectable pleural mesothelioma. The primary endpoint was overall survival compared to historical control with cisplatin and pemetrexed chemotherapy; secondary and exploratory endpoints included safety, progression-free survival and biomarkers of response. The combination of durvalumab with chemotherapy met the pre-specified primary endpoint, reaching a median survival of 20.4 months versus 12.1 months with historical control. Treatment-emergent adverse events were consistent with known side effects of chemotherapy, and all adverse events due to immunotherapy were grade 2 or lower. Integrated genomic and immune cell repertoire analyses revealed that a higher immunogenic mutation burden coupled with a more diverse T cell repertoire was linked to favorable clinical outcome. Structural genome-wide analyses showed a higher degree of genomic instability in responding tumors of epithelioid histology. Patients with germline alterations in cancer predisposing genes, especially those involved in DNA repair, were more likely to achieve long-term survival. Our findings indicate that concurrent durvalumab with platinum-based chemotherapy has promising clinical activity and that responses are driven by the complex genomic background of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01541-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8604731PMC
November 2021

First-Line Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Advanced NSCLC: 4-Year Outcomes From the Randomized, Open-Label, Phase 3 CheckMate 227 Part 1 Trial.

J Thorac Oncol 2022 02 12;17(2):289-308. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Introduction: In CheckMate 227, nivolumab plus ipilimumab prolonged overall survival (OS) versus chemotherapy in patients with tumor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) greater than or equal to 1% (primary end point) or less than 1% (prespecified descriptive analysis). We report results with minimum 4 years' follow-up.

Methods: Adults with previously untreated stage IV or recurrent NSCLC were randomized (1:1:1) to nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab, or chemotherapy (PD-L1 ≥1%); or to nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab plus chemotherapy, or chemotherapy (PD-L1 <1%). Efficacy included OS and other measures. Safety included timing and management of immune-mediated adverse events (AEs). A post hoc analysis evaluated efficacy in patients who discontinued nivolumab plus ipilimumab due to treatment-related AEs (TRAEs).

Results: After 54.8 months' median follow-up, OS remained longer with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus chemotherapy in patients with PD-L1 greater than or equal to 1% (hazard ratio = 0.76; 95% confidence interval: 0.65-0.90) and PD-L1 less than 1% (0.64; 0.51-0.81); 4-year OS rate with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus chemotherapy was 29% versus 18% (PD-L1 ≥1%); and 24% versus 10% (PD-L1 <1%). Benefits were observed in both squamous and nonsquamous histologies. In a descriptive analysis, efficacy was improved with nivolumab plus ipilimumab relative to nivolumab (PD-L1 ≥1%) and nivolumab plus chemotherapy (PD-L1 <1%). Safety was consistent with previous reports. The most common immune-mediated AE with nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab, and nivolumab plus chemotherapy was rash; most immune-mediated AEs (except endocrine events) occurred within 6 months from start of treatment and resolved within 3 months after, mainly with systemic corticosteroids. Patients who discontinued nivolumab plus ipilimumab due to TRAEs had long-term OS benefits, as seen in the all randomized population.

Conclusions: At more than 4 years' minimum follow-up, with all patients off immunotherapy treatment for at least 2 years, first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab continued to demonstrate durable long-term efficacy in patients with advanced NSCLC. No new safety signals were identified. Immune-mediated AEs occurred early and resolved quickly with guideline-based management. Discontinuation of nivolumab plus ipilimumab due to TRAEs did not have a negative impact on the long-term benefits seen in all randomized patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.09.010DOI Listing
February 2022

Characterization of KRAS Mutation Subtypes in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.

Mol Cancer Ther 2021 12 13;20(12):2577-2584. Epub 2021 Sep 13.

Department of Hematology-Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

is the most commonly mutated oncogene in NSCLC and development of direct KRAS inhibitors has renewed interest in this molecular variant. Different mutations may represent a unique biologic context with different prognostic and therapeutic impact. We sought to characterize genomic landscapes of advanced, -mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a large national cohort to help guide future therapeutic development.Molecular profiles of 17,095 NSCLC specimens were obtained using DNA next-generation sequencing of 592 genes (Caris Life Sciences) and classified on the basis of presence and subtype of mutations. Co-occurring genomic alterations, tumor mutational burden (TMB), and PD-L1 expression [22C3, tumor proportion score (TPS) score] were analyzed by mutation type.Across the cohort, 4,706 (27.5%) samples harbored a mutation. The most common subtype was G12C (40%), followed by G12V (19%) and G12D (15%). The prevalence of mutations was 37.2% among adenocarcinomas and 4.4% in squamous cell carcinomas. Rates of high TMB (≥10 mutations/Mb) and PD-L1 expression varied across mutation subtypes. G12C was the most likely to be PD-L1 positive (65.5% TPS ≥ 1%) and PD-L1 high (41.3% TPS ≥ 50%). was mutated in 8.6% of wild-type NSCLC but more frequent in -mutant NSCLC, with the highest rate in G13 (36.2%). mutations were more frequent in wild-type NSCLC (73.6%). mutation subtypes have different co-occurring mutations and a distinct genomic landscape. The clinical relevance of these differences in the context of specific therapeutic interventions warrants investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-21-0201DOI Listing
December 2021

Impact of XPO1 mutations on survival outcomes in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Lung Cancer 2021 10 27;160:92-98. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Department of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Nuclear protein transport is essential in guiding the traffic of important proteins and RNAs between the nucleus and cytoplasm. Export of proteins from the nucleus is mostly regulated by Exportin 1 (XPO1). In cancer, XPO1 is almost universally hyperactive and can promote the export of important tumor suppressors to the cytoplasm. Currently, there are no studies evaluating XPO1 amplifications and mutations in NSCLC and the impact on outcomes.

Methods: Tumor samples were analyzed using next-generation sequencing (NGS) (NextSeq, 592 Genes), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and whole transcriptome sequencing (WTS, NovaSeq) (Caris Life Sciences, Phoenix, AZ). Survival was extracted from insurance claims data and calculated from time of tissue collection to last contact using Kaplan-Meier estimate.

Results: Among 18,218 NSCLC tumors sequenced, 26 harbored XPO1 mutations and 24 had amplifications. XPO1 mutant tumors were more likely to have high TMB (79% vs. 52%, p = 0.007) and less likely to have high PD-L1 (32% vs. 68%, p = 0.03). KRAS co-mutations were seen in 19% (n = 5) and EGFR co-mutations were rare (n = 2). Among the 17,449 NSCLC tumors with clinical data, there were 24 XPO1 mutant. Comparison of survival between XPO1 mutant and WT showed a negative association with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.932 (95% CI: 1.144-3.264 p = 0.012). XPO1 amplification was not associated with survival.

Conclusions: XPO1 pathogenic mutations were associated with a poor survival in NSCLC. Although XPO1 mutations are rare in NSCLC, further studies to assess its associations with treatment responses are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.08.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8853639PMC
October 2021

Targeting the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in EGFR-Mutated Lung Cancer: Current and Emerging Therapies.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jun 24;13(13). Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

Epidermal growth factor receptor-targeting tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) are the standard of care for patients with EGFR-mutated metastatic lung cancer. While EGFR TKIs have initially high response rates, inherent and acquired resistance constitute a major challenge to the longitudinal treatment. Ongoing work is aimed at understanding the molecular basis of these resistance mechanisms, with exciting new studies evaluating novel agents and combination therapies to improve control of tumors with all forms of EGFR mutation. In this review, we first provide a discussion of EGFR-mutated lung cancer and the efficacy of available EGFR TKIs in the clinical setting against both common and rare EGFR mutations. Second, we discuss common resistance mechanisms that lead to therapy failure during treatment with EGFR TKIs. Third, we review novel approaches aimed at improving outcomes and overcoming resistance to EGFR TKIs. Finally, we highlight recent breakthroughs in the use of EGFR TKIs in non-metastatic EGFR-mutated lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13133164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8267708PMC
June 2021

Sotorasib for Lung Cancers with p.G12C Mutation.

N Engl J Med 2021 06 4;384(25):2371-2381. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

From the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (F.S.), and U.S. Oncology Research, the Woodlands (A. Spira) - both in Texas; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine (B.T.L.) and Thoracic Medical Oncology, Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York University (V.V.), New York, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo (G.K.D.) - all in New York; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University of Adelaide, Woodville, SA, Australia (T.J.P.); Sarah Cannon Research Institute at HealthONE, Denver (G.S.F.); Department I of Internal Medicine, Center for Integrated Oncology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne (J.W.), the West German Cancer Center, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen (M.S.), and the German Cancer Consortium, Heidelberg (M.S.) - all in Germany; the Early Phase Trials and Sarcoma Units, Bergonie Cancer Institute, Bordeaux (A.I.), and Gustave Roussy Institute, Villejuif (F.B., B.B.) - both in France; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia (H.B.); Kanagawa Cancer Center, Yokohama (T.K.), and the Division of Thoracic Oncology, Shizuoka Cancer Center, Shizuoka (T.T.) - both in Japan; the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (A.C.-F.); Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto (A. Sacher); Virginia Cancer Specialists, Fairfax (A. Spira); Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (A. Spira); Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta (S.S.R.); Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA (A. Anderson, A. Ang, Q.T., O.M., H.H., G.N., G.F.); and the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (R.G.).

Background: Sotorasib showed anticancer activity in patients with p.G12C-mutated advanced solid tumors in a phase 1 study, and particularly promising anticancer activity was observed in a subgroup of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: In a single-group, phase 2 trial, we investigated the activity of sotorasib, administered orally at a dose of 960 mg once daily, in patients with p.G12C-mutated advanced NSCLC previously treated with standard therapies. The primary end point was objective response (complete or partial response) according to independent central review. Key secondary end points included duration of response, disease control (defined as complete response, partial response, or stable disease), progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety. Exploratory biomarkers were evaluated for their association with response to sotorasib therapy.

Results: Among the 126 enrolled patients, the majority (81.0%) had previously received both platinum-based chemotherapy and inhibitors of programmed death 1 (PD-1) or programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). According to central review, 124 patients had measurable disease at baseline and were evaluated for response. An objective response was observed in 46 patients (37.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 28.6 to 46.2), including in 4 (3.2%) who had a complete response and in 42 (33.9%) who had a partial response. The median duration of response was 11.1 months (95% CI, 6.9 to could not be evaluated). Disease control occurred in 100 patients (80.6%; 95% CI, 72.6 to 87.2). The median progression-free survival was 6.8 months (95% CI, 5.1 to 8.2), and the median overall survival was 12.5 months (95% CI, 10.0 to could not be evaluated). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 88 of 126 patients (69.8%), including grade 3 events in 25 patients (19.8%) and a grade 4 event in 1 (0.8%). Responses were observed in subgroups defined according to PD-L1 expression, tumor mutational burden, and co-occurring mutations in , , or .

Conclusions: In this phase 2 trial, sotorasib therapy led to a durable clinical benefit without new safety signals in patients with previously treated p.G12C-mutated NSCLC. (Funded by Amgen and the National Institutes of Health; CodeBreaK100 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03600883.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2103695DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9116274PMC
June 2021

To Give or Not to Give: Consolidative Durvalumab in EGFR-Mutant NSCLC.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 06;16(6):894-896

Department of Hematology-Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.03.004DOI Listing
June 2021

Musashi-2 (MSI2) regulates epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and response to EGFR inhibitors in EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Oncogenesis 2021 Mar 15;10(3):29. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Molecular Therapeutics Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19111, USA.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has limited treatment options. Expression of the RNA-binding protein (RBP) Musashi-2 (MSI2) is elevated in a subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors upon progression, and drives NSCLC metastasis. We evaluated the mechanism of MSI2 action in NSCLC to gain therapeutically useful insights. Reverse phase protein array (RPPA) analysis of MSI2-depleted versus control Kras; Trp53 NSCLC cell lines identified EGFR as a MSI2-regulated protein. MSI2 control of EGFR expression and activity in an NSCLC cell line panel was studied using RT-PCR, Western blots, and RNA immunoprecipitation. Functional consequences of MSI2 depletion were explored for cell growth and response to EGFR-targeting drugs, in vitro and in vivo. Expression relationships were validated using human tissue microarrays. MSI2 depletion significantly reduced EGFR protein expression, phosphorylation, or both. Comparison of protein and mRNA expression indicated a post-transcriptional activity of MSI2 in control of steady state levels of EGFR. RNA immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that MSI2 directly binds to EGFR mRNA, and sequence analysis predicted MSI2 binding sites in the murine and human EGFR mRNAs. MSI2 depletion selectively impaired cell proliferation in NSCLC cell lines with activating mutations of EGFR (EGFR). Further, depletion of MSI2 in combination with EGFR inhibitors such as erlotinib, afatinib, and osimertinib selectively reduced the growth of EGFR NSCLC cells and xenografts. EGFR and MSI2 were significantly co-expressed in EGFR human NSCLCs. These results define MSI2 as a direct regulator of EGFR protein expression, and suggest inhibition of MSI2 could be of clinical value in EGFR NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41389-021-00317-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961039PMC
March 2021

Five-Year Outcomes From the Randomized, Phase III Trials CheckMate 017 and 057: Nivolumab Versus Docetaxel in Previously Treated Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2021 03 15;39(7):723-733. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD.

Purpose: Immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In two phase III trials (CheckMate 017 and CheckMate 057), nivolumab showed an improvement in overall survival (OS) and favorable safety versus docetaxel in patients with previously treated, advanced squamous and nonsquamous NSCLC, respectively. We report 5-year pooled efficacy and safety from these trials.

Methods: Patients (N = 854; CheckMate 017/057 pooled) with advanced NSCLC, ECOG PS ≤ 1, and progression during or after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy were randomly assigned 1:1 to nivolumab (3 mg/kg once every 2 weeks) or docetaxel (75 mg/m once every 3 weeks) until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point for both trials was OS; secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS) and safety. Exploratory landmark analyses were investigated.

Results: After the minimum follow-up of 64.2 and 64.5 months for CheckMate 017 and 057, respectively, 50 nivolumab-treated patients and nine docetaxel-treated patients were alive. Five-year pooled OS rates were 13.4% versus 2.6%, respectively; 5-year PFS rates were 8.0% versus 0%, respectively. Nivolumab-treated patients without disease progression at 2 and 3 years had an 82.0% and 93.0% chance of survival, respectively, and a 59.6% and 78.3% chance of remaining progression-free at 5 years, respectively. Treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were reported in 8 of 31 (25.8%) nivolumab-treated patients between 3-5 years of follow-up, seven of whom experienced new events; one (3.2%) TRAE was grade 3, and there were no grade 4 TRAEs.

Conclusion: At 5 years, nivolumab continued to demonstrate a survival benefit versus docetaxel, exhibiting a five-fold increase in OS rate, with no new safety signals. These data represent the first report of 5-year outcomes from randomized phase III trials of a programmed death-1 inhibitor in previously treated, advanced NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078445PMC
March 2021

SWOG S1400A (NCT02154490): A Phase II Study of Durvalumab for Patients With Previously Treated Stage IV or Recurrent Squamous Cell Lung Cancer (Lung-MAP Sub-study).

Clin Lung Cancer 2021 05 10;22(3):178-186. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Introduction: The objective of the Lung-MAP sub-study S1400A was to evaluate the response rate to durvalumab, an anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody, in patients with squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (SqNSCLC).

Patients And Methods: Patients who progressed on at least 1 prior platinum-based chemotherapy were eligible. The study was designed as a phase II/III trial comparing durvalumab with docetaxel but was modified to a single-arm, phase II trial with the primary endpoint of objective response when immunotherapy became an approved treatment.

Results: A total of 116 patients were registered to this sub-study; 78 to durvalumab and 38 to docetaxel. Of the 78 patients, 9 were ineligible, and 1 was not evaluable for endpoints. Responses were achieved in 11 patients among the 68 eligible and evaluable patients on durvalumab (overall response rate, 16%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7%-25%). The disease control rate was 54% (95% CI, 43%-66%), the median overall survival was 11.6 months (95% CI, 10.2-14.3 months), and the median progression-free survival was 2.9 months (95% CI, 2.0-4.0 months). PD-L1 data was available for 43 patients on durvalumab, with 14 (33%) patients who were PD-L1-positive (≥ 25%) and 2 responses (overall response rate, 14%; 95% CI, 0%-33%), the disease control rate was 57% (95% CI, 31%-83%), the median overall survival and progression-free survival were 10.7 months (95% CI, 9.2-14.3 months) and 2.3 months (95% CI, 1.4-4.2 months), respectively. Grade ≥ 3 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 22 (32%) patients on durvalumab, with 6 discontinuing owing to drug-related adverse events (9%; 95% CI, 2%-16%).

Conclusions: Durvalumab shows single-agent activity and toxicities in this sub-group of patients that is comparable with other anti-programmed cell death protein 1/PD-L1 antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2020.10.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8686189PMC
May 2021

Targeting -Mutant Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: One Mutation at a Time, With a Focus on Mutations.

J Clin Oncol 2020 12 26;38(35):4208-4218. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne University, Switzerland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00744DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723684PMC
December 2020

Long-Term Overall Survival From KEYNOTE-021 Cohort G: Pemetrexed and Carboplatin With or Without Pembrolizumab as First-Line Therapy for Advanced Nonsquamous NSCLC.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 01 15;16(1):162-168. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Medicine, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Introduction: In cohort G of KEYNOTE-021 (NCT02039674), first-line pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-carboplatin significantly improved the objective response rate and progression-free survival versus chemotherapy alone with manageable toxicity in advanced nonsquamous NSCLC. We report the long-term outcomes from this study.

Methods: Patients with previously untreated advanced nonsquamous NSCLC without sensitizing EGFR or ALK alterations were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive open-label pemetrexed 500 mg/m plus carboplatin at area under the concentration-time curve of 5 mg/mL/min (four cycles) with or without pembrolizumab 200 mg (up to 2 years), with optional pemetrexed maintenance, each administered every 3 weeks. Eligible patients could crossover from the chemotherapy arm to pembrolizumab monotherapy after progression. Responses were assessed per the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1.

Results: After the median time of 49.4 months from randomization to data cutoff, objective response rate (58% versus 33%) and progression-free survival (median: 24.5 versus 9.9 mo; hazard ratio: 0.54; 95% confidence interval: 0.35‒0.83) remained improved with pembrolizumab combination (n = 60) versus chemotherapy (n = 63), regardless of programmed death ligand 1 status. Median overall survival was 34.5 versus 21.1 months (hazard ratio: 0.71; 95% confidence interval: 0.45‒1.12), despite a 70% crossover rate from chemotherapy alone to anti‒programmed death (ligand) 1 therapy. Among the 12 patients who completed 2 years of pembrolizumab, 92% were alive at data cutoff; the estimated 3-year duration of response rate was 100%. Grade 3 to 5 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 39% of patients receiving pembrolizumab combination and 31% receiving chemotherapy.

Conclusions: First-line pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-carboplatin continued to show improved response and survival versus chemotherapy alone in advanced nonsquamous NSCLC, with durable clinical benefit in patients who completed 2 years of therapy. No new safety signals were observed with longer follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.09.015DOI Listing
January 2021

Pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer without tumor PD-L1 expression: A pooled analysis of 3 randomized controlled trials.

Cancer 2020 11 11;126(22):4867-4877. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Rogel Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Background: Pembrolizumab plus platinum-based chemotherapy has demonstrated improved clinical outcomes over chemotherapy alone in patients with previously untreated advanced/metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), regardless of tumor programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression. This study pooled data from 3 randomized controlled trials to evaluate outcomes with pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone in patients with advanced/metastatic NSCLC negative for PD-L1 (ie, a tumor proportion score < 1%).

Methods: Individual patient data were pooled from KEYNOTE-021 cohort G (nonsquamous; NCT02039674), KEYNOTE-189 (nonsquamous; NCT02578680 and NCT03950674), and KEYNOTE-407 (squamous; NCT02775435). Treatment comprised pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy (pemetrexed and platinum for nonsquamous histology and carboplatin and paclitaxel/nab-paclitaxel for squamous histology) or chemotherapy alone. Responses were assessed according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 by blinded, independent, central review. No α was assigned to this descriptive, exploratory analysis.

Results: Four hundred forty-four of the 1328 patients (33.4%) who were enrolled across the 3 trials had PD-L1-negative tumors (256 on pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy [nonsquamous, n = 155; squamous, n = 94; other, n = 7] and 188 on chemotherapy alone [nonsquamous, n = 83; squamous, n = 99; other, n = 6]). The median time from randomization to the data cutoff was 28.0 months (range, 14.7-55.4 months). Pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy improved overall survival (OS; hazard ratio [HR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.50-0.79) and progression-free survival (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.56-0.83) over chemotherapy. Sixteen patients in the pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy arm completed 2 years of treatment; the objective response rate was 87.5% (95% CI, 61.7%-98.4%), and the 3-year OS rate was 100%. Adverse events (AEs) were experienced by 99.2% of the patients who received pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy and by 98.9% of the patients who received chemotherapy alone, with grade 3 or higher AEs occurring in 71.4% and 72.0%, respectively; immune-mediated AEs and infusion reactions were experienced by 29.0% and 12.4%, respectively.

Conclusions: Pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy demonstrated response and survival improvements with manageable safety in comparison with chemotherapy alone in PD-L1-negative advanced/metastatic NSCLC, and it is a standard-of-care first-line therapy for patients with advanced NSCLC, regardless of PD-L1 expression.

Lay Summary: Some tumors produce a protein called programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), which interacts with the body's immune system and prevents an immune response against cancer. Antibody therapies such as pembrolizumab block interactions between tumor PD-L1 and the immune system and enable an immune response. Used alone, pembrolizumab provides benefit for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors that produce PD-L1. However, when it is combined with chemotherapy, which can stimulate anticancer immune responses, pembrolizumab provides a benefit, regardless of tumor PD-L1 production. This article shows that among patients with NSCLC whose tumors produce no PD-L1, outcomes are better with pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in comparison with chemotherapy alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692929PMC
November 2020

Randomized Study of Maintenance Pemetrexed Versus Observation for Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: CALGB 30901.

Clin Lung Cancer 2020 11 3;21(6):553-561.e1. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chicago, IL.

Background: The role of maintenance therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is unknown. We performed a randomized phase II trial to determine if continuation of pemetrexed after first-line pemetrexed and platinum would improve progression-free survival (PFS).

Patients And Methods: Eligible patients with unresectable MPM, without disease progression following 4 to 6 cycles of pemetrexed and platinum were randomized 1:1 to observation or continuation of pemetrexed until progression, stratified by number of cycles (< 6 or 6), cis- or carboplatin containing regimen, and histology. Study size was calculated based on the assumption that observation would produce a median PFS of 3 months and pemetrexed would yield median PFS of 6 months.

Results: A total of 72 patients were registered from December 2010 to June 2016. The study closed early after 53 patients were randomized; 49 eligible (22 on the observation arm and 27 on the pemetrexed arm) were included in the analysis. The median PFS was 3 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.6-11.9 months) on observation and 3.4 months (95% CI, 2.8-9.8 months) on pemetrexed (hazard ratio [HR], 0.99; 95% CI, 0.51-1.90; P = .9733). The median overall survival (OS) was 11.8 months (95% CI, 9.3-28.7 months) for observation, and 16.3 months (95% CI, 10.5-26.0 months) for pemetrexed (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.44-1.71; P = .6737). Grade 3 or 4 toxicities on the pemetrexed arm included anemia (8%), lymphopenia (8%), neutropenia (4%), and fatigue (4%). A higher baseline level of soluble mesothelin-related peptide was associated with worse PFS (HR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.00-3.46; P = .049).

Conclusion: Maintenance pemetrexed following initial pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy does not improve PFS in patients with MPM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2020.06.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7606734PMC
November 2020

Biomarker Testing in Lung Cancer-What Does It Mean?

JAMA Netw Open 2020 06 1;3(6):e207171. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.7171DOI Listing
June 2020

The BiTE (bispecific T-cell engager) platform: Development and future potential of a targeted immuno-oncology therapy across tumor types.

Cancer 2020 07 13;126(14):3192-3201. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Immuno-oncology therapies engage the immune system to treat cancer. BiTE (bispecific T-cell engager) technology is a targeted immuno-oncology platform that connects patients' own T cells to malignant cells. The modular nature of BiTE technology facilitates the generation of molecules against tumor-specific antigens, allowing off-the-shelf immuno-oncotherapy. Blinatumomab was the first approved canonical BiTE molecule and targets CD19 surface antigens on B cells, making blinatumomab largely independent of genetic alterations or intracellular escape mechanisms. Additional BiTE molecules in development target other hematologic malignancies (eg, multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia, and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma) and solid tumors (eg, prostate cancer, glioblastoma, gastric cancer, and small-cell lung cancer). BiTE molecules with an extended half-life relative to the canonical BiTE molecules are also being developed. Advances in immuno-oncology made with BiTE technology could substantially improve the treatment of hematologic and solid tumors and offer enhanced activity in combination with other treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32909DOI Listing
July 2020

Combining Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Thorac Surg Clin 2020 May 2;30(2):199-206. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA. Electronic address:

Over the past year, the combination of platinum-based chemotherapy and immunotherapy has become the standard of care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer with any programmed death ligand 1 tumor proportion score. There is preclinical evidence demonstrating potential synergistic immunomodulation with combination therapy by enhancing immune-mediated tumor death and by disrupting the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that prevents immune detection. This potential synergy or complementary activity has been demonstrated in clinical trials showing improved and durable responses with chemo-immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thorsurg.2020.01.006DOI Listing
May 2020

Predictors of Distant Recurrence Following Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Am J Clin Oncol 2020 04;43(4):243-248

Departments of Radiation Oncology.

Objective: The objective of this study was to characterize patients at an increased risk of distant metastasis (DM) following stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Materials And Methods: We identified patients undergoing SBRT for stage I NSCLC between 2005 and 2016. Patients with a prior lung cancer diagnosis, receiving a biological effective dose <100 Gy, or receiving chemotherapy were excluded. Patients underwent pretreatment staging and were classified according to the American Joint Committee for Cancer (AJCC) 8th edition staging. The primary endpoint was DM. The Kaplan-Meier method and the Cox proportional hazards model were used for survival analysis and to identify predictors of DM.

Results: A total of 174 patients were included, with a median age 75 years (range, 49 to 96 y) and a median follow-up of 24 months (range, 3 to 123 mo). The 2- and 4-year cumulative incidences of DM were 14.2% and 19.1%, respectively. Patients who developed DM had worse overall survival versus patients developing a locoregional recurrence (P=0.023). On multivariable analysis, having stage IB disease (hazard ratio: 2.95; 95% confidence interval: 1.06-8.23; P=0.039) or a lower/middle lobe tumor (hazard ratio: 2.67; 95% confidence interval: 1.07-6.69; P=0.036) was associated with increased risk of DM. The 2-year cumulative incidences of DM were 10.9% and 35.7% (P=0.002) for patients with stage IA versus IB tumors, respectively, and 11.3% and 19.7% (P=0.049) for patients with upper lobe versus lower/middle lobe tumors, respectively.

Conclusions: Patients with stage IB disease or lower/middle lobe tumors may have an increased risk of DM following SBRT. Randomized controlled trials are needed to further identify patients who may benefit from adjuvant systemic therapy after SBRT for stage I NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000662DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103551PMC
April 2020

Biomarkers for immune checkpoint inhibition in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Cancer 2020 01 6;126(2):260-270. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The emergence of immunotherapy has dramatically changed how non-small cell lung cancer is treated, and longer survival is now possible for some patients, even those with advanced disease. Although some patients achieve durable responses to checkpoint blockade, not all experience such benefits, and some suffer from significant immunotoxicities. Given this, biomarkers that predict response to therapy are essential, and testing for tumor programmed death ligand 1(PD-L1) expression is the current standard. The extent of PD-L1 expression determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) has demonstrated a correlation with treatment response, although limitations with this marker exist. Recently, tumor mutational burden has emerged as an alternative biomarker, and studies have demonstrated its utility, irrespective of the PD-L1 level of a tumor. Gene expression signatures, tumor genotype (such as the presence of an oncogenic driver mutation), as well as the density of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in the tumor microenvironment also seem to affect response to immunotherapy and are being researched. Peripheral serum markers are being studied, and some have demonstrated predictive ability, although most are still investigational and need prospective validation. In the current article, the authors review the biomarker PD-L1 as well as other emerging and investigational tissue-based and serum-based markers that have potential to better predict responders to immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32468DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7372560PMC
January 2020

Nivolumab plus Ipilimumab in Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2019 11 28;381(21):2020-2031. Epub 2019 Sep 28.

From the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (M.D.H.); Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas, Universidad Complutense, and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer, Madrid (L.P.-A.), Hospital Universitario Virgen Del Rocio, Seville (R.B.C.), and the Catalan Institute of Oncology-Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Badalona (E.C.C.) - all in Spain; Ambulatorium Chemioterapii, Bydgoszcz, Poland (B.Z.); the Asan Medical Center (S.-W.K.) and the Samsung Medical Center at Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (K.P.) - both in Seoul, South Korea; the Institute of Oncology Prof. Dr. Alexandru Trestioreanu, Bucharest, Romania (A.A.); the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (L.L.); Instituto Jalisciense de Cancerologia, Guadalajara, Mexico (E.M.J.); the Saitama Cancer Center, Saitama, Japan (H.S.); Matrai Gyogyintezet, Matrahaza, Hungary (I.A.); Limoges University Hospital, Limoges (A.V.), and Aix-Marseille University, National Center for Scientific Research, INSERM, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Marseille (F.B.) - all in France; Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne University, Lausanne, Switzerland (S.P.); Sotiria General Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens (K.S.); Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North, German Center of Lung Research, Grosshansdorf, Germany (M.R.); Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia (H.B.); Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore (J.R.B.); Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia (K.J.O.); Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ (W.J.G., P.B., S.K.R., R.S.K., F.E.N.); and Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta (S.S.R.).

Background: In an early-phase study involving patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the response rate was better with nivolumab plus ipilimumab than with nivolumab monotherapy, particularly among patients with tumors that expressed programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Data are needed to assess the long-term benefit of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with NSCLC.

Methods: In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned patients with stage IV or recurrent NSCLC and a PD-L1 expression level of 1% or more in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab alone, or chemotherapy. The patients who had a PD-L1 expression level of less than 1% were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab plus chemotherapy, or chemotherapy alone. All the patients had received no previous chemotherapy. The primary end point reported here was overall survival with nivolumab plus ipilimumab as compared with chemotherapy in patients with a PD-L1 expression level of 1% or more.

Results: Among the patients with a PD-L1 expression level of 1% or more, the median duration of overall survival was 17.1 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.0 to 20.1) with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 14.9 months (95% CI, 12.7 to 16.7) with chemotherapy (P = 0.007), with 2-year overall survival rates of 40.0% and 32.8%, respectively. The median duration of response was 23.2 months with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 6.2 months with chemotherapy. The overall survival benefit was also observed in patients with a PD-L1 expression level of less than 1%, with a median duration of 17.2 months (95% CI, 12.8 to 22.0) with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 12.2 months (95% CI, 9.2 to 14.3) with chemotherapy. Among all the patients in the trial, the median duration of overall survival was 17.1 months (95% CI, 15.2 to 19.9) with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 13.9 months (95% CI, 12.2 to 15.1) with chemotherapy. The percentage of patients with grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events in the overall population was 32.8% with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 36.0% with chemotherapy.

Conclusions: First-line treatment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab resulted in a longer duration of overall survival than did chemotherapy in patients with NSCLC, independent of the PD-L1 expression level. No new safety concerns emerged with longer follow-up. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical; CheckMate 227 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02477826.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1910231DOI Listing
November 2019

The association of PD-L1 expression with the efficacy of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy and survival of non-small cell lung cancer patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2019 Aug;8(4):413-428

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210002, China.

Background: We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) monotherapy or immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy and further estimated the value of PD-L1 expression in predicting the response from anti-PD-1/PD-L1 treatments as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy.

Methods: Clinical trial data were searched from electronic databases, which evaluated PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and correlated with PD-L1 expression levels.

Results: Fifteen randomized-controlled trials involving 10,074 patients were identified. Comparing anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy to chemotherapy, the pooled HR for overall survival (OS) was 0.77 (95% CI: 0.69-0.85, P<0.00001). Subgroup analyses revealed that patients had longer OS at ≥1%, ≥5%, ≥10% and ≥50% PD-L1 expression levels. Patients with higher PD-L1 expression may get increased benefit from PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors. Moreover, patients with PD-L1 ≥50% had an objective response rate (ORR) improvement from anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy (RR =1.87, 95% CI: 1.27-2.75, P=0.001), but no ORR benefits were observed in patients with PD-L1 expression <1% (RR =0.82, 95% CI: 0.56-1.22, P=0.33) or 1-49% (RR =0.80, 95% CI: 0.64-0.98, P=0.03). OS was significantly better in patients receiving second-or-third line treatments (P<0.00001) with PD-L1 ≥1%. The efficacy of PD-1 inhibitors was similar to that of PD-L1 inhibitors, with no significant difference (P=0.63, I=0%). Furthermore, immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy had better OS (HR =0.64, 95% CI: 0.48-0.84, P=0.001) than chemotherapy alone. Subgroup analyses showed that patients benefited from the combined chemo-IO treatment in the first-line setting regardless of PD-L1 expression level.

Conclusions: PD-L1 expression may be a valuable predictor of the efficacy of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy in certain NSCLC patients. However, the combination of chemotherapy plus immunotherapy significantly improved survival regardless of the PD-L1 expression level in the first-line treatment of NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2019.08.09DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6749123PMC
August 2019

Four-year survival with nivolumab in patients with previously treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: a pooled analysis.

Lancet Oncol 2019 10 14;20(10):1395-1408. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Phase 3 clinical data has shown higher proportions of patients with objective response, longer response duration, and longer overall survival with nivolumab versus docetaxel in patients with previously treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We aimed to evaluate the long-term benefit of nivolumab and the effect of response and disease control on subsequent survival.

Methods: We pooled data from four clinical studies of nivolumab in patients with previously treated NSCLC (CheckMate 017, 057, 063, and 003) to evaluate survival outcomes. Trials of nivolumab in the second-line or later setting with at least 4 years follow-up were included. Comparisons of nivolumab versus docetaxel included all randomised patients from the phase 3 CheckMate 017 and 057 studies. We did landmark analyses by response status at 6 months to determine post-landmark survival outcomes. We excluded patients who did not have a radiographic tumour assessment at 6 months. Safety analyses included all patients who received at least one dose of nivolumab.

Findings: Across all four studies, 4-year overall survival with nivolumab was 14% (95% CI 11-17) for all patients (n=664), 19% (15-24) for those with at least 1% PD-L1 expression, and 11% (7-16) for those with less than 1% PD-L1 expression. In CheckMate 017 and 057, 4-year overall survival was 14% (95% CI 11-18) in patients treated with nivolumab, compared with 5% (3-7) in patients treated with docetaxel. Survival subsequent to response at 6 months on nivolumab or docetaxel was longer than after progressive disease at 6 months, with hazard ratios for overall survival of 0·18 (95% 0·12-0·27) for nivolumab and 0·43 (0·29-0·65) for docetaxel; for stable disease versus progressive disease, hazard ratios were 0·52 (0·37-0·71) for nivolumab and 0·80 (0·61-1·04) for docetaxel. Long-term data did not show any new safety signals.

Interpretation: Patients with advanced NSCLC treated with nivolumab achieved a greater duration of response compared with patients treated with docetaxel, which was associated with a long-term survival advantage.

Funding: Bristol-Myers Squibb.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30407-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7193685PMC
October 2019

Existing and Emerging Biomarkers for Immune Checkpoint Immunotherapy in Solid Tumors.

Adv Ther 2019 10 13;36(10):2638-2678. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

In the last few years, immunotherapy has transformed the way we treat solid tumors, including melanoma, lung, head neck, breast, renal, and bladder cancers. Durable responses and long-term survival benefit has been experienced by many cancer patients, with favorable toxicity profiles of immunotherapeutic agents relative to chemotherapy. Cures have become possible in some patients with metastatic disease. Additional approvals of immunotherapy drugs and in combination with other agents are anticipated in the near future. Multiple additional immunotherapy drugs are in earlier stages of clinical development, and their testing in additional tumor types is under way. Despite considerable early success and relatively fewer side effects, the majority of cancer patients do not respond to checkpoint inhibitors. Additionally, while the drugs are generally well tolerated, there is still the potential for significant, unpredictable and even fatal toxicity with these agents. Improved biomarkers may help to better select patients who are more likely to respond to these drugs. Two key biologically important predictive tissue biomarkers, specifically, PD-L1 and mismatch repair deficiency, have been FDA-approved in conjunction with the checkpoint inhibitor, pembrolizumab. Tumor mutation burden, another promising biomarker, is emerging in several tumor types, and may also soon receive approval. Finally, several other tissue and liquid biomarkers are emerging that could help guide single-agent immunotherapy and in combination with other agents. Of these, one promising investigational biomarker is alteration or deficiency in DNA damage response (DDR) pathways, with altered DDR observed in a broad spectrum of tumors. Here, we provide a critical overview of current, emerging, and investigational biomarkers in the context of response to immunotherapy in solid tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-019-01051-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6778545PMC
October 2019

Circulating tumor cell and cell-free RNA capture and expression analysis identify platelet-associated genes in metastatic lung cancer.

BMC Cancer 2019 Jun 19;19(1):603. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Protocol Support Laboratory, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, 19111, USA.

Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTC) and plasma cell-free RNA (cfRNA) can serve as biomarkers for prognosis and treatment response in lung cancer. One barrier to the selected or routine use of CTCs and plasma cfRNA in precision oncology is the limited quantity of both, and CTCs are only seen in metastatic disease. As capture of CTCs and plasma cfRNA presents an opportunity to monitor and assess malignancies without invasive procedures, we compared two methods for CTC capture and identification, and profiled mRNA from CTCs and plasma cfRNA to identify potential tumor-associated biomarkers.

Methods: Peripheral blood was collected from ten patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), ten patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and four healthy volunteers. Two methods were used for CTC capture: the standard epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCam) CellSearch kit (unicapture) and EpCAM plus HER2, EGFR and MUC-1 specific combined ferrofluid capture (quadcapture). For the quadcapture, anti-cytokeratin 7 (CK7) was additionally used to assist in CTC identification. NanoString analysis was performed on plasma cfRNA and on mRNA from combined ferrofluid isolated CTCs. Expression data was analyzed using STRING and Reactome.

Results: Unicapture detected CTCs in 40% of NSCLC and 60% of SCLC; whereas, quadcapture/CK7 identified CTCs in 20% of NSCLC and 80% of SCLC. Bioinformatic analysis of NanoString data identified high expression of a platelet factor 4 (PF4)-related group of transcripts.

Conclusions: Quadcapture ferrofluid reagent did not significantly improve CTC capture efficacy. NanoString analysis based on CTC and plasma cfRNA data highlighted an intriguing PF-4-centric network in patients with metastatic lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-5795-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6582501PMC
June 2019

SWOG S1400D (NCT02965378), a Phase II Study of the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitor AZD4547 in Previously Treated Patients With Fibroblast Growth Factor Pathway-Activated Stage IV Squamous Cell Lung Cancer (Lung-MAP Substudy).

J Thorac Oncol 2019 10 11;14(10):1847-1852. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: S1400D is a biomarker-driven therapeutic substudy of Lung-MAP evaluating the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR) inhibitor AZD4547 in patients with FGF pathway-activated squamous cell. This is the first phase II trial to evaluate AZD4547 as a targeted approach in patients with previously treated FGFR-altered squamous cell NSCLC and is the first demonstration of successful implementation and conduct of a national umbrella protocol in this disease setting.

Methods: Eligible patients had tumoral FGFR alteration or mutation and had progressive disease after at least one line of platinum-based systemic therapy. Patients received AZD4547 80 mg twice daily orally. Primary endpoint was response by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1; secondary endpoints included progression-free survival, overall survival, and duration of response (DoR).

Results: Ninety-two patients were assigned to S1400D, 43 were enrolled, and 27 AZD4547-treated patients were evaluable. Evaluable patients were predominantly white (n = 24, 89%), median age 66 years (range, 49-88 years old), and female (n = 7, 26%). FGFR alterations included FGFR1 amplification (n = 23; 85%), FGFR3 amplification (n = 2; 7%), FGFR3 S249C (n = 2; 7%), and FGFR3 fusion (n = 1; 4%). Treatment with ADZ4547 was well tolerated; grade 3 adverse events occurred in six patients, and one patient had grade 4 sepsis. Of 27 response-evaluable patients, 1 patient with FGFR3 S249C had unconfirmed partial response with a DoR of 1.5 months and 1 patient with FGFR1 amplification had a confirmed partial response with a DoR of 2.9 months (7%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0%-17%). Median progression-free survival and overall survival for the AZD4547-treated cohort were 2.7 months (95% CI: 1.4- 4.5 months) and 7.5 months (95% CI: 3.7-9.3 months).

Conclusions: AZD4547 had an acceptable safety profile but minimal activity in this predominantly FGFR1/FGFR3-amplified cohort. Evaluation of other targeted agents in Lung-MAP is ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.05.041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6901020PMC
October 2019

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab in non-small-cell lung cancer.

Future Oncol 2019 Jul 8;15(19):2287-2302. Epub 2019 May 8.

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Translational Research Institute and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia.

Nivolumab and ipilimumab, two therapeutic immune checkpoint inhibitor antibodies that block PD-1 and CTLA-4, respectively, have indications in cancer as single agents and in combination. In this Review, we examine the potential role of dual immune checkpoint inhibition with nivolumab plus ipilimumab in the management of patients with previously untreated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, based on results from the Phase III CheckMate 227 study. Immunotherapies with indications in the first-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer include pembrolizumab alone and combined with chemotherapy, and atezolizumab combined with bevacizumab and chemotherapy. CheckMate 227 is the first Phase III study evaluating first-line chemotherapy-sparing combination immunotherapy and including tumor mutational burden as a biomarker for patient selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2019-0031DOI Listing
July 2019

Detection of NRG1 Gene Fusions in Solid Tumors.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 Aug 15;25(16):4966-4972. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

Purpose: gene fusions are rare but potentially actionable oncogenic drivers that are present in some solid tumors. Details regarding the incidence of these gene rearrangements are lacking. Here, we assessed the incidence of fusions across multiple tumor types and described fusion partners.

Experimental Design: Tumor specimens submitted for molecular profiling at a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified genomics laboratory and that underwent fusion testing by anchored multiplex PCR for targeted RNA sequencing were retrospectively identified. The overall and tumor-specific incidence was noted, as was the specific fusion partner.

Results: Out of 21,858 tumor specimens profiled from September 2015 to December 2018, 41 cases (0.2%) harbored an fusion. Multiple fusion partners were identified. Fusion events were seen across tumor types. The greatest incidence was in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC, 25), though this represented only 0.3% of NSCLC cases tested. Other tumor types harboring an fusion included gallbladder cancer, renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, neuroendocrine tumor, sarcoma, and colorectal cancer.

Conclusions: fusions can be detected at a low incidence across multiple tumor types with significant heterogeneity in fusion partner..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-0160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7470623PMC
August 2019

Pembrolizumab in combination with ipilimumab as second-line or later therapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: KEYNOTE-021 cohorts D and H.

Lung Cancer 2019 04 17;130:59-66. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA; Perlmutter Cancer Center - NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Objectives: Combination immunotherapy may result in improved antitumor activity compared with single-agent treatment. We report results from dose-finding and dose-expansion cohorts of the phase 1/2 KEYNOTE-021 study that evaluated combination therapy with anti‒programmed death 1 (PD-1) antibody pembrolizumab plus anti‒cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) antibody ipilimumab in patients with previously treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Materials And Methods: Eligibility criteria stipulated histologically/cytologically confirmed advanced NSCLC and treatment failure on ≥1 prior systemic therapy (platinum-based chemotherapy or targeted therapy for patients with EGFR/ALK aberrations). In the dose-finding cohort, patients initially received pembrolizumab 10 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 or 3 mg/kg once every 3 weeks for 4 cycles followed by pembrolizumab 10 mg/kg monotherapy for up to 2 years. Based on emerging published data, subsequent patients received pembrolizumab 2 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg. Objective response rate (ORR; primary efficacy endpoint) was assessed per RECIST version 1.1 by blinded, independent central review. Phase 2 hypothesis that ORR would be greater than the 20% rate for historical controls was evaluated using the exact binomial test.

Results: Fifty-one patients were enrolled; 71% received ≥2 prior lines of therapy. No dose-limiting toxicities occurred at any dose level. Among patients who received pembrolizumab 2 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg (n = 44), ORR was 30% (95% CI, 17%-45%), but not statistically significantly >20% (P = 0.0858). Median progression-free survival in this group was 4.1 (95% CI, 1.4-5.8) months; median overall survival was 10.9 (95% CI, 6.1-23.7) months. With pembrolizumab 2 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg, incidences of treatment-related adverse events, grade 3-5 treatment-related adverse events, and immune-mediated adverse events and infusion reactions were 64%, 29%, and 42%, respectively.

Conclusions: In patients with heavily pretreated advanced NSCLC, pembrolizumab plus ipilimumab showed evidence of antitumor activity, but was associated with meaningful toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2018.12.015DOI Listing
April 2019
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