Publications by authors named "Julien Mazieres"

168 Publications

Fast progression in non-small cell lung cancer: results from the randomized phase III OAK study evaluating second-line atezolizumab versus docetaxel.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Mar;9(3)

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

Background: Treatment-induced accelerated tumor growth is a progression pattern reported with immune checkpoint inhibitors that has never been evaluated in randomized phase III studies because it requires two pretreatment scans. This study aimed to develop clinically relevant and applicable criteria for fast progression (FP), incorporating tumor growth kinetics and early death from disease progression to analyze data from the randomized phase III OAK study.

Methods: The OAK study evaluated the efficacy and safety of atezolizumab versus docetaxel as second-line or third-line treatment for stage IIIb/IV non-small cell lung cancer. FP rates and associated baseline factors were analyzed. FP was defined as either a ≥50% increase in the sum of largest diameters (SLDs) within 6 weeks of treatment initiation or death due to cancer progression within 12 weeks (absent post-baseline scan).

Results: Forty-two of 421 patients (10%) receiving atezolizumab and 37 of 402 (9%) receiving docetaxel had FP. Twenty patients with FP (48%) receiving atezolizumab versus 12 (30%) receiving docetaxel had a ≥50% SLD increase within 6 weeks. FP was significantly associated with an ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) performance status of 1 (vs 0), ≥3 metastatic sites at baseline, and failure of preceding first-line treatment within 6 months, but not with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation, programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 or tumor mutational burden. Overall survival in patients with FP and a ≥50% SLD increase at week 6 was similar with atezolizumab and docetaxel (unstratified HR 0.89 (95% CI 0.41 to 1.92)).

Conclusions: FP rates were similar with atezolizumab and docetaxel in the OAK study, suggesting that FP may not be unique to checkpoint inhibitors, although the underlying mechanisms may differ from those of chemotherapy. Applying the FP criteria to other phase III checkpoint inhibitor trials may further elucidate the risk factors for FP.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02008227.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001882DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7978260PMC
March 2021

Prospective Multicenter Validation of the Detection of ALK Rearrangements of Circulating Tumor Cells for Noninvasive Longitudinal Management of Patients With Advanced NSCLC.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 May 3;16(5):807-816. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Laboratory of Clinical and Experimental Pathology, FHU OncoAge, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, Université Côte d'Azur, Nice, France; Hospital-Related Biobank (BB-0033-00025), FHU OncoAge, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, Université Côte d'Azur, Nice, France; Institute of Research on Cancer and Ageing of Nice (IRCAN), CNRS, INSERM, FHU OncoAge, Université Côte d'Azur, Nice, France. Electronic address:

Introduction: Patients with advanced-stage NSCLC whose tumors harbor an ALK gene rearrangement benefit from treatment with multiple ALK inhibitors (ALKi). Approximately 30% of tumor biopsy samples contain insufficient tissue for successful ALK molecular characterization. This study evaluated the added value of analyzing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as a surrogate to ALK tissue analysis and as a function of the response to ALKi.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter, prospective observational study (NCT02372448) of 203 patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC across nine French centers, of whom 81 were ALK positive (immunohistochemistry or fluorescence in situ hybridization [FISH]) and 122 ALK negative on paraffin-embedded tissue specimens. Blood samples were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks after ALKi initiation or at disease progression. ALK gene rearrangement was evaluated with CTCs using immunocytochemistry and FISH analysis after enrichment using a filtration method.

Results: At baseline, there was a high concordance between the detection of an ALK rearrangement in the tumor tissue and in CTCs as determined by immunocytochemistry (sensitivity, 94.4%; specificity 89.4%). The performance was lower for the FISH analysis (sensitivity, 35.6%; specificity, 56.9%). No significant association between the baseline levels or the dynamic change of CTCs and overall survival (hazard ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval: 0.24-1.5, p = 0.244) or progression-free survival (hazard ratio = 0.84, 95% confidence interval: 0.44-1.6, p = 0.591) was observed in the patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.

Conclusions: CTCs can be used as a complementary tool to a tissue biopsy for the detection of ALK rearrangements. Longitudinal analyses of CTCs revealed promise for real-time patient monitoring and improved delivery of molecularly guided therapy in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.01.1617DOI Listing
May 2021

Stomatitis associated with osimertinib in advanced lung cancer treatment: Characterization and implications for management.

Lung Cancer 2021 02 4;152:185-188. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Department of Oncodermatology and Clinical Research Unit, Institut Claudius Regaud, Institut Universitaire du cancer Toulouse-Oncopole, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.12.004DOI Listing
February 2021

Liquid Biopsy of Non-Plasma Body Fluids in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Look Closer to the Tumor!

Cells 2020 11 16;9(11). Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Pulmonology Department, Hôpital Larrey, University Hospital of Toulouse, 31059 Toulouse, France.

Liquid biopsy is a rapidly emerging field due to an increasing number of oncogenic drivers and a better understanding of resistance mechanisms to targeted therapies in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The sensitivity of the most widely used blood-based assays is, however, limited in particular in cases of low tumor volume where shed of tumor-derived material can be limited. A negative result thus requires biopsy confirmation using minimally invasive sampling procedures that can result in small specimens, which are often not suitable for genotyping. Liquid biopsy is not limited to plasma, and tumor DNA circulating in other body fluids such as urine, pleural fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, or cytology specimen-derived supernatant can be exploited. In comparison to cell blocks, these fluids in close contact to the tumor may contain a more abundant and less analytically demanding tumor DNA. In this review, we discuss the potential applications of circulating tumor DNA derived from cytology samples in NSCLC, from early stage (screening, nodule characterization) to metastatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9112486DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7698102PMC
November 2020

First-Line Lorlatinib or Crizotinib in Advanced -Positive Lung Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2020 11;383(21):2018-2029

From the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (A.T.S.) and Pfizer (G.P.) - both in Boston; Sarah Cannon Research Institute-Tennessee Oncology, Nashville (T.M.B.); European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS (F.M.), and Pfizer (A.P., A.M.C.) - both in Milan; Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and Institute of Oncology, International Oncology Bureau-Quirón, Barcelona (E.F.); National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo (Y.G.); Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto (G.L.); Toulouse University Hospital, Toulouse, France (J.M.); Seoul National University College of Medicine and Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea (D.-W.K.); State Key Laboratory of Translational Oncology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (T.M.); Pfizer, La Jolla, CA (H.T.); and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (B.J.S.).

Background: Lorlatinib, a third-generation inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), has antitumor activity in previously treated patients with -positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The efficacy of lorlatinib, as compared with that of crizotinib, as first-line treatment for advanced -positive NSCLC is unclear.

Methods: We conducted a global, randomized, phase 3 trial comparing lorlatinib with crizotinib in 296 patients with advanced -positive NSCLC who had received no previous systemic treatment for metastatic disease. The primary end point was progression-free survival as assessed by blinded independent central review. Secondary end points included independently assessed objective response and intracranial response. An interim analysis of efficacy was planned after approximately 133 of 177 (75%) expected events of disease progression or death had occurred.

Results: The percentage of patients who were alive without disease progression at 12 months was 78% (95% confidence interval [CI], 70 to 84) in the lorlatinib group and 39% (95% CI, 30 to 48) in the crizotinib group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.41; P<0.001). An objective response occurred in 76% (95% CI, 68 to 83) of the patients in the lorlatinib group and 58% (95% CI, 49 to 66) of those in the crizotinib group; among those with measurable brain metastases, 82% (95% CI, 57 to 96) and 23% (95% CI, 5 to 54), respectively, had an intracranial response, and 71% of the patients who received lorlatinib had an intracranial complete response. The most common adverse events with lorlatinib were hyperlipidemia, edema, increased weight, peripheral neuropathy, and cognitive effects. Lorlatinib was associated with more grade 3 or 4 adverse events (mainly altered lipid levels) than crizotinib (in 72% vs. 56%). Discontinuation of treatment because of adverse events occurred in 7% and 9% of the patients, respectively.

Conclusions: In an interim analysis of results among patients with previously untreated advanced -positive NSCLC, those who received lorlatinib had significantly longer progression-free survival and a higher frequency of intracranial response than those who received crizotinib. The incidence of grade 3 or 4 adverse events was higher with lorlatinib than with crizotinib because of the frequent occurrence of altered lipid levels. (Funded by Pfizer; CROWN ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03052608.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2027187DOI Listing
November 2020

A Randomized Phase III Study of Abemaciclib Versus Erlotinib in Patients with Stage IV Non-small Cell Lung Cancer With a Detectable Mutation Who Failed Prior Platinum-Based Therapy: JUNIPER.

Front Oncol 2020 26;10:578756. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Medicine, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, CNIO and Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.

Introduction: JUNIPER compared the efficacy and safety of abemaciclib, a selective cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 inhibitor, with erlotinib in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring a Kirsten rat sarcoma () mutation.

Methods: JUNIPER was a Phase III, multicenter, randomized, open-label trial of abemaciclib versus erlotinib in patients with stage IV NSCLC and a detectable mutation in codons 12 or 13 of the oncogene, who progressed after platinum-based chemotherapy and 1 additional therapy (could include immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy). Randomized patients (3:2) received either 200 mg abemaciclib twice daily or 150 mg erlotinib once daily with best supportive care until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS); secondary endpoints included overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and safety.

Results: Between December 2014 and April 2017, 453 patients were randomly assigned to receive abemaciclib (N = 270) or erlotinib (N = 183). Median OS was 7.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.5, 8.8) with abemaciclib and 7.8 months (95% CI: 6.4, 9.5) with erlotinib (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.968 [95% CI: 0.768, 1.219]; p = .77). Median PFS was 3.6 months (95% CI: 2.8, 3.8) with abemaciclib and 1.9 months (95% CI: 1.9, 2.0) with erlotinib (HR = 0.583 [95% CI: 0.470, 0.723]; p <.000001). ORR was 8.9% and 2.7% (p = .010), and the disease control rate was 54.4% and 31.7% (p <.001) with abemaciclib and erlotinib, respectively. Safety results reflected the known safety profiles of abemaciclib and erlotinib.

Conclusions: In this study, the primary endpoint of OS was not met; PFS and ORR were improved with manageable toxicity in the abemaciclib arm. The increases in response rates and PFS support further investigation of abemaciclib in other NSCLC subpopulations or in combination with other agents.

Clinical Trial Registration: www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT02152631.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.578756DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7649422PMC
October 2020

Atezolizumab Versus Docetaxel in Pretreated Patients With NSCLC: Final Results From the Randomized Phase 2 POPLAR and Phase 3 OAK Clinical Trials.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 01 6;16(1):140-150. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Introduction: The phase 2 POPLAR and phase 3 OAK studies of the anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunotherapy atezolizumab in patients with previously treated advanced NSCLC revealed significant improvements in survival versus docetaxel (p = 0.04 and 0.0003, respectively). Longer follow-up permits evaluation of continued benefit of atezolizumab. This study reports the final overall survival (OS) and safety findings from both trials.

Methods: POPLAR randomized 287 patients (atezolizumab, 144; docetaxel, 143) and OAK randomized 1225 patients (atezolizumab, 613; docetaxel, 612). The patients received atezolizumab (1200 mg fixed dose) or docetaxel (75 mg/m) every 3 weeks. Efficacy and safety outcomes were evaluated.

Results: A longer OS was observed in patients receiving atezolizumab versus docetaxel in POPLAR (median OS = 12.6 mo versus 9.7 mo; hazard ratio = 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.58-1.00) and OAK (median OS = 13.3 versus 9.8 mo; hazard ratio = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.68-0.89). The 4-year OS rates in POPLAR were 14.8% (8.7-20.8) and 8.1% (3.2-13.0) and those in OAK were 15.5% (12.4-18.7) and 8.7% (6.2-11.3) for atezolizumab and docetaxel, respectively. Atezolizumab had improved OS benefit compared with docetaxel across all PD-L1 expression and histology groups. Most 4-year survivors in the docetaxel arms received subsequent immunotherapy (POPLAR, 50%; OAK, 65%). Of the 4-year survivors, most had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 and nonsquamous histological classification and approximately half were responders (POPLAR: atezolizumab, seven of 15; docetaxel, three of four; OAK: atezolizumab, 24 of 43; docetaxel, 11 of 26). Treatment-related grade 3/4 adverse events occurred in 27% and 16% of atezolizumab 4-year survivors in POPLAR and OAK, respectively.

Conclusions: Long-term follow-up suggests a consistent survival benefit with atezolizumab versus docetaxel in patients with previously treated NSCLC regardless of PD-L1 expression, histology, or subsequent immunotherapy. Atezolizumab had no new safety signals, and the safety profile was similar to that in previous studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.09.022DOI Listing
January 2021

Supporting Clinical Decision-Making during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic through a Global Research Commitment: The TERAVOLT Experience.

Cancer Cell 2020 11 5;38(5):602-604. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Medical Oncology Department, Thoracic Cancer and Early Drug Development Unit, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.

To understand the real impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients, an entirely new data collection effort was initiated within the Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT). TERAVOLT reported high mortality related to COVID-19 infection in thoracic cancer patients and identified several negative prognostic factors. In this commentary, we discuss the importance and limits of patient registries to support decision-making in thoracic cancer during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2020.10.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534826PMC
November 2020

Eomes-Dependent Loss of the Co-activating Receptor CD226 Restrains CD8 T Cell Anti-tumor Functions and Limits the Efficacy of Cancer Immunotherapy.

Immunity 2020 10;53(4):824-839.e10

Centre de physiopathologie de Toulouse Purpan (CPTP), INSERM UMR 1043, CNRS UMR 5282, UPS, Toulouse, France.

CD8 T cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME) are exposed to various signals that ultimately determine functional outcomes. Here, we examined the role of the co-activating receptor CD226 (DNAM-1) in CD8 T cell function. The absence of CD226 expression identified a subset of dysfunctional CD8 T cells present in peripheral blood of healthy individuals. These cells exhibited reduced LFA-1 activation, altered TCR signaling, and a distinct transcriptomic program upon stimulation. CD226 CD8 T cells accumulated in human and mouse tumors of diverse origin through an antigen-specific mechanism involving the transcriptional regulator Eomesodermin (Eomes). Despite similar expression of co-inhibitory receptors, CD8 tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte failed to respond to anti-PD-1 in the absence of CD226. Immune checkpoint blockade efficacy was hampered in Cd226 mice. Anti-CD137 (4-1BB) agonists also stimulated Eomes-dependent CD226 loss that limited the anti-tumor efficacy of this treatment. Thus, CD226 loss restrains CD8 T cell function and limits the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2020.09.006DOI Listing
October 2020

Circulating Tumor DNA Genomics Reveal Potential Mechanisms of Resistance to BRAF-Targeted Therapies in Patients with -Mutant Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Dec 28;26(23):6242-6253. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Centre de Biochimie Structurale (CBS), INSERM, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France.

Purpose: The limited knowledge on the molecular profile of patients with -mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who progress under BRAF-targeted therapies (BRAF-TT) has hampered the development of subsequent therapeutic strategies for these patients. Here, we evaluated the clinical utility of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)-targeted sequencing to identify canonical mutations and genomic alterations potentially related to resistance to BRAF-TT, in a large cohort of patients with -mutant NSCLC.

Experimental Design: This was a prospective study of 78 patients with advanced -mutant NSCLC, enrolled in 27 centers across France. Blood samples ( = 208) were collected from BRAF-TT-naïve patients ( = 47), patients nonprogressive under treatment ( = 115), or patients at disease progression (PD) to BRAF-TT (24/46 on BRAF monotherapy and 22/46 on BRAF/MEK combination therapy). ctDNA sequencing was performed using InVisionFirst-Lung. structural modeling was used to predict the potential functional effect of the alterations found in ctDNA.

Results: ctDNA was detected in 74% of BRAF-TT-naïve patients, where alterations in genes related with the MAPK and PI3K pathways, signal transducers, and protein kinases were identified in 29% of the samples. ctDNA positivity at the first radiographic evaluation under treatment, as well as -mutant ctDNA positivity at PD were associated with poor survival. Potential drivers of resistance to either BRAF-TT monotherapy or BRAF/MEK combination were identified in 46% of patients and these included activating mutations in effectors of the MAPK and PI3K pathways, as well as alterations in , and .

Conclusions: ctDNA sequencing is clinically relevant for the detection of -activating mutations and the identification of alterations potentially related to resistance to BRAF-TT in -mutant NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1037DOI Listing
December 2020

GLASS: Global Lorlatinib for ALK(+) and ROS1(+) retrospective Study: real world data of 123 NSCLC patients.

Lung Cancer 2020 10 27;148:48-54. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Izmir, Turkey.

Lorlatinib is a third-generation tyrosine-kinases inhibitor (TKI) targeting ALK/ROS1 fusions. The FDA has approved lorlatinib for TKI-pretreated ALK(+) NSCLC, while its approval for ROS1(+) is still pending. Here we present the largest real-world data of NSCLC patients harboring ALK/ROS1 rearrangements treated with lorlatinib.

Methods: 123 patients were enrolled retrospectively (data cut-off 1/1/2019). Lorlatinib was administered through an early access program for patients with no other available therapy. Outcome and response were defined by each investigator upon RECIST 1.1 criteria.

Results: 106 ALK(+) and 17 ROS1(+) patients recruited from 8 different countries. The ALK(+) cohort included 50 % males, 73 % never-smokers and 68 % with brain metastases. Extracranial (EC) and intracranial (IC) response rates (RR) were 60 % and 62 %, with disease control rates (DCR) of 91 % and 88 % respectively. Mean duration of therapy (DoT) was 23.9 ± 1.6 months and median overall survival (mOS) was 89.1 ± 19.6 months. ROS1 cohort enrolled 53 % males, 65 % never-smokers and 65 % had brain metastases. EC and IC RR were 62 % and 67 % with DCR of 92 % and 78 % respectively. Median DoT was 18.1 ± 2.5 months and mOS of 90.3 ± 24.4 months. OS and DoT in both cohorts were not significantly correlated with line of therapy nor other parameters. The most common adverse events of any grade were peripheral edema (48 %), hyperlipidemia (47 %), weight gain (25 %) and fatigue (30 %). CNS adverse events such as cognitive effect of grade 1-2 were reported in 18 % of patients.

Conclusion: Lorlatinib shows outstanding EC/IC efficacy in ALK/ROS1(+) NSCLC. The observed mOS of 89 ± 19 months in ALK(+) NSCLC supports previous reports, while mOS from of 90 ± 24 months is unprecedented for ROS1(+) NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.07.022DOI Listing
October 2020

Final overall survival and safety update for durvalumab in third- or later-line advanced NSCLC: The phase II ATLANTIC study.

Lung Cancer 2020 09 30;147:137-142. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Introduction: In the phase II ATLANTIC study, durvalumab provided durable responses with acceptable tolerability in heavily pretreated patients with advanced NSCLC, across three independent patient cohorts defined by EGFR/ALK status and tumour PD-L1 expression. Preliminary overall survival (OS) data were encouraging. We now report final OS and updated safety data.

Methods: Patients with advanced NSCLC with disease progression following ≥2 previous systemic regimens received durvalumab 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks. The primary endpoint was objective response rate among patients with increased PD-L1 expression (defined as ≥25 % or ≥90 % of tumour cells [TCs], cohort-dependent). Secondary endpoints included OS and safety.

Results: 444 patients received durvalumab: 111 in Cohort 1 (EGFR+/ALK+), 265 in Cohort 2 (EGFR-/ALK-), and 68 in Cohort 3 (EGFR-/ALK-; TC ≥ 90 %). Median (95 % CI) OS was 13.3 months (6.3-24.5) in patients with EGFR+/ALK+ NSCLC with TC ≥ 25 %, 10.9 months (8.6-13.6) in patients with EGFR-/ALK- NSCLC with TC ≥ 25 %, and 13.2 months (5.9-not reached) in patients with EGFR-/ALK- NSCLC with TC ≥ 90 %. Median (95 % CI) OS was slightly shorter in patients with TC < 25 % (9.9 months [4.2-13.3] in patients with EGFR+/ALK+ NSCLC and 9.3 months [5.9-10.8] in those with EGFR-/ALK- NSCLC). Treatment-related adverse events of special interest occurred with similar incidences as reported previously.

Conclusions: After additional follow-up, final OS data remain encouraging across all cohorts, further supporting the clinical activity of durvalumab in patients with heavily pretreated advanced NSCLC, including those with EGFR+/ALK+ tumours. There were no new safety signals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.06.032DOI Listing
September 2020

Bronchoscopic Treatment of Endobronchial Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumors.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 02 13;111(2):e109-e111. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Hematology Department, University Cancer Institute of Toulouse, Toulouse, France. Electronic address:

Endobronchial localizations of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors are very unusual. We report the multimodal, bronchoscopic management of 3 cases, offering durable local control in all cases (including 2 patients who were definitively cured). Although surgery is usually considered the gold standard, therapeutic bronchoscopy should probably be considered as a frontline option for proximal lesions with limited base (< 10 mm) because of uncommon metastatic spread and delayed local recurrence. Of note, 1 of our cases is a rare airway case after allograft hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.05.092DOI Listing
February 2021

A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy in Patients With Metastatic Squamous NSCLC: Protocol-Specified Final Analysis of KEYNOTE-407.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 10 26;15(10):1657-1669. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.

Introduction: In the randomized KEYNOTE-407 study (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02775435), pembrolizumab plus carboplatin and paclitaxel/nab-paclitaxel (chemotherapy) significantly improved overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared with placebo plus chemotherapy in patients with previously untreated metastatic squamous NSCLC. We report updated efficacy outcomes from the protocol-specified final analysis and, for the first time, progression on next line of treatment.

Methods: Eligible patients were randomized to chemotherapy plus either pembrolizumab (n = 278) or placebo (n = 281). After positive results from the second interim analysis, patients still receiving placebo could cross over to pembrolizumab monotherapy at the time of confirmed progressive disease. The primary end points were OS and PFS. PFS-2 (time from randomization to progression on next-line treatment/death, whichever occurred first) was an exploratory end point.

Results: After median (range) follow-up of 14.3 (0.1-31.3) months, pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy continued to exhibit a clinically meaningful improvement over placebo plus chemotherapy in OS (median, 17.1 mo [95% confidence interval (CI): 14.4‒19.9] versus 11.6 mo [95% CI: 10.1‒13.7]; hazard ratio [HR], 0.71 [95% CI: 0.58‒0.88]) and PFS (median, 8.0 mo [95% CI: 6.3‒8.4] versus 5.1 mo [95% CI: 4.3‒6.0]; HR, 0.57 [95% CI: 0.47‒0.69]). PFS-2 was longer for patients randomized to first-line pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy (HR, 0.59 [95% CI: 0.49‒0.72]). Grade 3 to 5 adverse events occurred in 74.1% and 69.6% of patients receiving pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy and placebo plus chemotherapy, respectively.

Conclusions: Pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy continued to exhibit substantially improved OS and PFS in patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC. The PFS-2 outcomes support pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy as a standard first-line treatment in patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.06.015DOI Listing
October 2020

COVID-19 in patients with thoracic malignancies (TERAVOLT): first results of an international, registry-based, cohort study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 07 12;21(7):914-922. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Oncology Department, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne University, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: Early reports on patients with cancer and COVID-19 have suggested a high mortality rate compared with the general population. Patients with thoracic malignancies are thought to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19 given their older age, smoking habits, and pre-existing cardiopulmonary comorbidities, in addition to cancer treatments. We aimed to study the effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on patients with thoracic malignancies.

Methods: The Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT) registry is a multicentre observational study composed of a cross-sectional component and a longitudinal cohort component. Eligibility criteria were the presence of any thoracic cancer (non-small-cell lung cancer [NSCLC], small-cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymic epithelial tumours, and other pulmonary neuroendocrine neoplasms) and a COVID-19 diagnosis, either laboratory confirmed with RT-PCR, suspected with symptoms and contacts, or radiologically suspected cases with lung imaging features consistent with COVID-19 pneumonia and symptoms. Patients of any age, sex, histology, or stage were considered eligible, including those in active treatment and clinical follow-up. Clinical data were extracted from medical records of consecutive patients from Jan 1, 2020, and will be collected until the end of pandemic declared by WHO. Data on demographics, oncological history and comorbidities, COVID-19 diagnosis, and course of illness and clinical outcomes were collected. Associations between demographic or clinical characteristics and outcomes were measured with odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs using univariable and multivariable logistic regression, with sex, age, smoking status, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease included in multivariable analysis. This is a preliminary analysis of the first 200 patients. The registry continues to accept new sites and patient data.

Findings: Between March 26 and April 12, 2020, 200 patients with COVID-19 and thoracic cancers from eight countries were identified and included in the TERAVOLT registry; median age was 68·0 years (61·8-75·0) and the majority had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1 (142 [72%] of 196 patients), were current or former smokers (159 [81%] of 196), had non-small-cell lung cancer (151 [76%] of 200), and were on therapy at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis (147 [74%] of 199), with 112 (57%) of 197 on first-line treatment. 152 (76%) patients were hospitalised and 66 (33%) died. 13 (10%) of 134 patients who met criteria for ICU admission were admitted to ICU; the remaining 121 were hospitalised, but were not admitted to ICU. Univariable analyses revealed that being older than 65 years (OR 1·88, 95% 1·00-3·62), being a current or former smoker (4·24, 1·70-12·95), receiving treatment with chemotherapy alone (2·54, 1·09-6·11), and the presence of any comorbidities (2·65, 1·09-7·46) were associated with increased risk of death. However, in multivariable analysis, only smoking history (OR 3·18, 95% CI 1·11-9·06) was associated with increased risk of death.

Interpretation: With an ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19, our data suggest high mortality and low admission to intensive care in patients with thoracic cancer. Whether mortality could be reduced with treatment in intensive care remains to be determined. With improved cancer therapeutic options, access to intensive care should be discussed in a multidisciplinary setting based on cancer specific mortality and patients' preference.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30314-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292610PMC
July 2020

Tepotinib in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer with Exon 14 Skipping Mutations.

N Engl J Med 2020 09 29;383(10):931-943. Epub 2020 May 29.

From Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (P.K.P.); the Oncology Department, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (E.F.), and Dr. Rosell Oncology Institute, Dexeus University Hospital, Quirónsalud Group (S.V.), Barcelona; Centre Hospitaliere Universitaire (CHU) Bordeaux, Service des Maladies Respiratoires, Bordeaux (R.V.), Université de Lille, CHU Lille, Thoracic Oncology Department, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INSERM, Institut Pasteur de Lille, UMR9020-UMR-S 1277-Canther, Lille (A.B.C.), CHU de Toulouse, Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (J.M.), and Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest Rene Gauducheau Centre, Saint-Herblain (H. Senellart) - all in France; Saitama Cancer Center, Saitama (H. Sakai), and the Department of Thoracic Oncology, Kanagawa Cancer Center, Yokohama (T.K.) - both in Japan; the Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan (M.C.G.), and the Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, University of Padua and Oncologia Medica 2, Istituto Oncologico Veneto, IRCCS, Padua (P.C.) - both in Italy; Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium (J.V.M., J.R.); Asklepios Lung Clinic, Munich-Gauting (N.R.), Pius Hospital Oldenburg, University Medicine Oldenburg, Oldenburg (F.G.), Translational Medicine, Department of Bioinformatics (D.J.), Translational Innovation Platform, Oncology (C.S.), the Department of Biostatistics (R.B.), Translational Medicine, Department of Clinical Biomarkers and Companion Diagnostics (J. Straub), and Global Clinical Development (A.J., J. Scheele), Merck, Darmstadt - all in Germany; the Department of Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology, Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland (D.K.); Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul (B.C.C.), the Center for Lung Cancer, National Cancer Center, Goyang (J.-Y.H.), and Chonnam National University Medical School and Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun (Y.-C.K.) - all in South Korea; Lurie Cancer Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago (J.D.P.); the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville (L.H.); the Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University (G.-C.C.), the Division of Chest Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Tri-service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center (C.-L.T.), National Taiwan University Hospital (J.C.-H.Y.), and the Department of Chest Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University (Y.-M.C.), Taipei, and the Division of Chest Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung (G.-C.C.) - both in Taiwan; the Department of Thoracic Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (E.F.S.), and the Department of Pulmonology, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen (A.J.W.) - both in the Netherlands; and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston (J.V.H., X.L.).

Background: A splice-site mutation that results in a loss of transcription of exon 14 in the oncogenic driver occurs in 3 to 4% of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We evaluated the efficacy and safety of tepotinib, a highly selective MET inhibitor, in this patient population.

Methods: In this open-label, phase 2 study, we administered tepotinib (at a dose of 500 mg) once daily in patients with advanced or metastatic NSCLC with a confirmed exon 14 skipping mutation. The primary end point was the objective response by independent review among patients who had undergone at least 9 months of follow-up. The response was also analyzed according to whether the presence of a exon 14 skipping mutation was detected on liquid biopsy or tissue biopsy.

Results: As of January 1, 2020, a total of 152 patients had received tepotinib, and 99 patients had been followed for at least 9 months. The response rate by independent review was 46% (95% confidence interval [CI], 36 to 57), with a median duration of response of 11.1 months (95% CI, 7.2 to could not be estimated) in the combined-biopsy group. The response rate was 48% (95% CI, 36 to 61) among 66 patients in the liquid-biopsy group and 50% (95% CI, 37 to 63) among 60 patients in the tissue-biopsy group; 27 patients had positive results according to both methods. The investigator-assessed response rate was 56% (95% CI, 45 to 66) and was similar regardless of the previous therapy received for advanced or metastatic disease. Adverse events of grade 3 or higher that were considered by investigators to be related to tepotinib therapy were reported in 28% of the patients, including peripheral edema in 7%. Adverse events led to permanent discontinuation of tepotinib in 11% of the patients. A molecular response, as measured in circulating free DNA, was observed in 67% of the patients with matched liquid-biopsy samples at baseline and during treatment.

Conclusions: Among patients with advanced NSCLC with a confirmed exon 14 skipping mutation, the use of tepotinib was associated with a partial response in approximately half the patients. Peripheral edema was the main toxic effect of grade 3 or higher. (Funded by Merck [Darmstadt, Germany]; VISION ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02864992.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2004407DOI Listing
September 2020

Pembrolizumab or Placebo Plus Etoposide and Platinum as First-Line Therapy for Extensive-Stage Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Randomized, Double-Blind, Phase III KEYNOTE-604 Study.

J Clin Oncol 2020 07 29;38(21):2369-2379. Epub 2020 May 29.

Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Purpose: Pembrolizumab monotherapy has shown antitumor activity in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). The randomized, double-blind, phase III KEYNOTE-604 study compared pembrolizumab plus etoposide and platinum (EP) with placebo plus EP for patients with previously untreated extensive-stage (ES) SCLC.

Methods: Eligible patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to pembrolizumab 200 mg once every 3 weeks or saline placebo for up to 35 cycles plus 4 cycles of EP. Primary end points were progression-free survival (PFS; RECIST version 1.1, blinded central review) and overall survival (OS) in the intention-to-treat population. Objective response rate (ORR) and duration of response were secondary end points. Prespecified efficacy boundaries were one-sided = .0048 for PFS and .0128 for OS.

Results: Of the 453 participants, 228 were randomly assigned to pembrolizumab plus EP and 225 to placebo plus EP. Pembrolizumab plus EP significantly improved PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.91; = .0023). Twelve-month PFS estimates were 13.6% with pembrolizumab plus EP and 3.1% with placebo plus EP. Although pembrolizumab plus EP prolonged OS, the significance threshold was not met (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.98; = .0164). Twenty-four-month OS estimates were 22.5% and 11.2%, respectively. ORR was 70.6% in the pembrolizumab plus EP group and 61.8% in the placebo plus EP group; the estimated proportion of responders remaining in response at 12 months was 19.3% and 3.3%, respectively. In the pembrolizumab plus EP and placebo plus EP groups, respectively, any-cause adverse events were grade 3-4 in 76.7% and 74.9%, grade 5 in 6.3% and 5.4%, and led to discontinuation of any drug in 14.8% and 6.3%.

Conclusion: Pembrolizumab plus EP significantly improved PFS compared with placebo plus EP as first-line therapy for patients with ES-SCLC. No unexpected toxicities were seen with pembrolizumab plus EP. These data support the benefit of pembrolizumab in ES-SCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00793DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7474472PMC
July 2020

[Finding mutations of interest in circulating tumor DNA helps predict immunotherapy response in lung cancer].

Med Sci (Paris) 2020 May 26;36(5):437-439. Epub 2020 May 26.

Unité d'oncologie thoracique, Hôpital Larrey, CHU Toulouse, Chemin de Pouvourville, 31059 Toulouse Cedex, France. - Inserm, Centre de recherche en cancérologie de Toulouse, CRCT UMR-1037, 31000 Toulouse, France. - Université Paul Sabatier, 31000 Toulouse, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/medsci/2020068DOI Listing
May 2020

First-line carboplatin plus pemetrexed with pemetrexed maintenance in HIV-positive patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer: the phase II IFCT-1001 CHIVA trial.

Eur Respir J 2020 08 27;56(2). Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Service de Pneumologie, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (Hôpital Tenon) and Sorbonne Université, Paris, France.

HIV infection is an exclusion criterion in lung cancer trials. This multicentre phase II trial aimed to assess feasibility, efficacy and safety of first-line carboplatin plus pemetrexed (CaP) followed by pemetrexed (P) maintenance in people living with HIV (PLHIV) with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NS-NSCLC).Four cycles of CaP were followed by P-maintenance therapy in patients with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≤2. The primary objective was a disease control rate (DCR) ≥30% after 12 weeks.Of the 61 PLHIV enrolled, 49 (80%) had a performance status of 0-1, and 19 (31%) had brain metastases. Median CD4 lymphocyte count was 418 cells·µL (range 18-1230), median CD4 lymphocyte nadir was 169.5 cells·µL (1-822); 48 (80%) patients were virologically controlled. Four-cycle inductions were achieved by 38 (62%) patients, and 31 (51%) started P-maintenance (median of 4.1 cycles (range 1-19)). The 12-week DCR was 50.8% (95% CI 38.3-63.4) and partial response rate 21.3%. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 3.5 (95% CI 2.7-4.4) and 7.6 months (5.7-12.8), respectively. Patients with a performance status of 0-1 had the longest median progression-free survival (4.3 months, 95% CI 3.1-5.2) and overall survival (11.9 months, 95% CI 6.4-14.3). During induction, CaP doublet was well tolerated apart from grade 3-4 haematological toxicities (neutropenia 53.8%; thrombocytopenia 35.0%; anaemia 30.0%). Two fatal treatment-related sepses were reported. No opportunistic infections were experienced.In PLHIV with advanced NS-NSCLC, first-line four-cycle CaP induction followed by P-maintenance was effective and reasonably well-tolerated. Further studies should evaluate combination strategies of CaP with immunotherapy in PLHIV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.02066-2019DOI Listing
August 2020

Weekly paclitaxel plus bevacizumab versus docetaxel as second- or third-line treatment in advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer: Results of the IFCT-1103 ULTIMATE study.

Eur J Cancer 2020 05 8;131:27-36. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Cancer Medecine Department, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; Paris-Saclay University, Orsay, France. Electronic address:

Purpose: Second-line chemotherapy regimens have demonstrated poor benefit after failure of platinum-based chemotherapy in advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (nsNSCLC).

Methods: In this multicentre, open-label phase III trial, patients with advanced nsNSCLC treated with one or two prior lines, including one platinum-based doublet, were centrally randomised to receive 90 mg/m of paclitaxel (D1, D8, D15) plus 10 mg/kg of bevacizumab (D1, D15) every 28 days or docetaxel (75 mg/m) every 21 days; crossover was allowed after disease progression. Primary end-point was progression-free survival (PFS). ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT01763671.

Results: One hundred sixty six patients were randomised (paclitaxel plus bevacizumab: 111, docetaxel: 55). The median PFS was longer in patients receiving paclitaxel plus bevacizumab than in patients receveing docetaxel [5·4 months versus 3·9 months, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0·61 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0·44-0·86); p = 0·005]. Objective response rates (ORRs) were 22·5% (95% CI: 14·8-30·3) and 5·5% (95% CI: 0·0-11·5) (p = 0·006), respectively. Median overall survivals were similar (adjusted HR 1·17; p = 0·50). Crossover occurred in 21 of 55 (38·2%) docetaxel-treated patients. Grade III-IV adverse events (AEs) were reported in 45·9% and 54·5% of patients treated with paclitaxel and bevacizumab or docetaxel, respectively (p = NS), including neutropenia (19·3% versus 45·4%), neuropathy (8·3% versus 0·0%) and hypertension (7·3% versus 0·0%). Three patients died due to treatment-related AEs (1·8% in each group).

Conclusion: Weekly paclitaxel plus bevacizumab as second- or third-line improves PFS and ORR compared with docetaxel in patients with nsNSCLC, with an acceptable safety profile. These results place weekly paclitaxel plus bevacizumab as a valid option in this population.

Clinical Trials Registration Number: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01763671.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.02.022DOI Listing
May 2020

Randomized Phase II Trial Evaluating Treatment with EGFR-TKI Associated with Antiestrogen in Women with Nonsquamous Advanced-Stage NSCLC: IFCT-1003 LADIE Trial.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 07 6;26(13):3172-3181. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Intergroupe Francophone de Cancérologie Thoracique (IFCT), Paris, France.

Purpose: The incidence of lung cancer has dramatically increased in women. Preclinical data have suggested that combining EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) with an antiestrogen may overcome resistance to EGFR-TKI.

Patients And Methods: The IFCT-1003 LADIE trial was a 2 × 2 arms parallel open-label randomized phase II trial. EGFR-TKI-naïve postmenopausal women with advanced lung cancer were treated with gefitinib (G) versus gefitinib + fulvestrant (G+F) in the EGFR-mutated group (EGFR) or with erlotinib (E) versus erlotinib + fulvestrant (E+F) in the EGFR wild-type group (EGFR-WT). The primary objective was progression-free survival (PFS) at 3 and 9 months for EGFR-WT and EGFR patients.

Results: Overall, 204 patients (gefitinib 104 and G+F 100) and 175 patients (erlotinib 87 and E+F 88) were enrolled in the EGFR and EGFR-WT cohorts. In the EGFR cohort, the primary endpoint was reached, with 58% of the G+F group patients being nonprogressive at 9 months. Adding fulvestrant to gefitinib was not associated with improved PFS (9.9 vs 9.4 months) or overall survival (OS; 22.1 vs 28.6 months). In the EGFR-WT cohort, the primary endpoint was also achieved (33.7% of the patients were nonprogressive at 3 months). Adding fulvestrant to erlotinib was not associated with improved outcome (PFS 1.8 vs 2.0 and OS 10.3 vs 7.3 months). No PFS difference was observed regarding estrogen receptor alpha expression. The tolerance was as expected with no treatment-related death.

Conclusions: Adding fulvestrant to EGFR-TKI is feasible, but not associated with prolonged PFS regardless of EGFR status. The lack of benefits while combining fulvestrant to EGFR-TKI does not support its future development in an unselected population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3056DOI Listing
July 2020

Current and future applications of liquid biopsy in nonsmall cell lung cancer from early to advanced stages.

Eur Respir Rev 2020 Mar 12;29(155). Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Thoracic Oncology Dept, Hôpital Larrey, University Hospital of Toulouse, Toulouse, France.

Liquid biopsy refers to the analysis of any tumour-derived material circulating in the blood or any other body fluid. This concept is particularly relevant in lung cancer as the tumour is often difficult to reach and may need an invasive and potentially harmful procedure. Moreover, the multitude of anticancer drugs and their sequential use underline the importance of conducting an iterative assessment of tumour biology. Liquid biopsies can noninvasively detect any targetable genomic alteration and guide corresponding targeted therapy, in addition to monitoring response to treatment and exploring the genetic changes at resistance, overcoming spatial and temporal heterogeneity.In this article, we review the available data in the field, which suggest the potential of liquid biopsy in the area of lung cancer, with a particular focus on cell-free DNA and circulating tumour cells. We discuss their respective applications in patient selection and monitoring through targeted therapy, as well as immune checkpoint inhibitors. The current data and future applications of liquid biopsy in the early stage setting are also investigated.Liquid biopsy has the potential to help manage nonsmall cell lung cancer throughout all stages of lung cancer: screening, minimal residual disease detection to guide adjuvant treatment, early detection of relapse, systemic treatment initiation and monitoring of response (targeted or immune therapy), and resistance genotyping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/16000617.0052-2019DOI Listing
March 2020

Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Lung Sarcomatoid Carcinoma.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 05 25;15(5):860-866. Epub 2020 Jan 25.

Department of Thoracic Oncology, AP-HP, Groupe Hospitalier HUPC, Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France; Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Université Paris Descartes, Complement, Inflammation and Cancer, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Introduction: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have improved cancer prognosis but have not been evaluated specifically in sarcomatoid carcinoma (SC), a rare lung cancer subtype with poor prognosis. As such, our study sought to retrospectively assess the efficacy of ICI in SC.

Methods: All consecutive patients with centrally confirmed SC treated using ICI as a second-line treatment or beyond between 2011 and 2017 were enrolled. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) tumor expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry (SP263 clone) and the tumor mutational burden (TMB) with the Foundation One panel. TMB was considered high if it was greater than or equal to 10 mutations per megabase.

Results: Overall, 37 patients with SC were evaluated, predominantly men (73%) with a median age of 63.2 years (36.8-79.7) and who were current or former smokers (94.6%). Immunotherapy (nivolumab, 86.5% of cases) was given as a second-line treatment in 54% of the patients and as third-line treatment or beyond in 46% of the patients. The objective response rate was 40.5% and disease control rate was 64.8%, regardless of PD-L1 status. Median overall survival was 12.7 months (range: 0.3-45.7). One-third of patients exhibited early progression. The median PD-L1 expression was 70% (0-100). There was a trend toward higher PD-L1 expression in responsive diseases, with an objective response rate of 58.8% in patients with PD-L1+ and 0% in the one patient with PD-L1- (p = 0.44). The median TMB was 18 (4-39) mutations per megabase, with 87.5% of the cases displaying a high TMB. There was a trend toward higher TMB in responders versus stable or progressive diseases (p = 0.2).

Conclusions: Patients with SC exhibited high response rates and prolonged overall survival under ICI treatment. These data support the prospective investigation of ICI in patients with SC who are under first-line treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.01.014DOI Listing
May 2020

Immune biomarkers in thymic epithelial tumors: expression patterns, prognostic value and comparison of diagnostic tests for PD-L1.

Biomark Res 2019 4;7:28. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

11Hôpital Larrey, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse, 24 Chemin de Pouvourville, 31059 Toulouse, France.

Background: Immunotherapy is currently under investigation in B3 Thymoma (TB3) and Thymic Carcinoma (TC). PD-L1 expression has been evaluated on a limited number of patients with selected antibodies. We aimed to analyze cohort of TB3 and TC with a panel of antibodies to assess the prevalence of PD-L1 expression, its prognostic value and to set up a reproducible test.

Methods: We retrospectively studied 103 patients samples of FFPE histologically confirmed TB3 ( = 53) and TC ( = 50) by expert pathologists within the RYTHMIC national network. We compared PD-L1, PD1, CD8 and PD-L2 expression and performed correlation with tumor types and patients outcomes. Four PD-L1 antibodies were tested, three of them validated as companion tests in lung cancer, one tested on two automates on whole section of tumors. We evaluated the percentage and intensity of both epithelial and immune stained cells.

Results: TB3 epithelial cells had a higher and more diffuse expression of PD-L1 than TC regardless the antibodies tested ( < 0.0001). Three out of four antibodies targeting PD-L1 tested on the DAKO autostainer gave similar staining. Concordance between antibodies was lower for PD-L1 staining on immune cells with no significant difference between TB3 and TC except on E1L3N antibody. PD-L2 antibody stained no tumor epithelial cells. High PD-L1 expression was correlated with a better overall survival for TB3 and was not correlated with tumor staging.

Conclusion: Frequent PD-L1 expression, particularly in TB3, paves the way for immunotherapy in TET (Thymic Epithelial Tumor). Otherwise, we have set up three reproducible LDT (laboratory-developed test) for four PD-L1 antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40364-019-0177-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6894111PMC
December 2019

Health-Related Quality of Life With Carboplatin-Paclitaxel or nab-Paclitaxel With or Without Pembrolizumab in Patients With Metastatic Squamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2020 01 21;38(3):271-280. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, CNIO-H12o Lung Cancer Unit, Universidad Complutense and Ciberonc, Madrid, Spain.

Purpose: In the phase 3 KEYNOTE-407 study, the addition of pembrolizumab to carboplatin-paclitaxel/nab-paclitaxel significantly improved overall survival, progression-free survival, and objective response rate in patients with previously untreated metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with little impact on severe toxicity. We present patient-reported outcomes (PROs) from KEYNOTE-407.

Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to receive 4 cycles of pembrolizumab 200 mg or placebo once every 3 weeks plus carboplatin plus paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel, followed by pembrolizumab or placebo for an additional 31 cycles. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was evaluated using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and Quality of Life Questionnaire-Lung Cancer Module 13 (QLQ-LC13). Key PRO endpoints were change from baseline to weeks 9 and 18 (during and after platinum therapy) in the QLQ-C30 global health status/quality of life (GHS/QoL) score and time to deterioration in the composite endpoint of cough, chest pain, or dyspnea from the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-LC13. Two-sided, nominal values are provided.

Results: A total of 554 and 553 patients completed ≥ 1 QLQ-C30 or ≥ 1 QLQ-LC13 assessment, respectively. GHS/QoL score improved for the pembrolizumab-combination group (least squares [LS] mean [95% CI] change from baseline: week 9, 1.8 [-0.9 to 4.4]; week 18, 4.3 [1.7 to 6.9]) and deteriorated in the placebo-combination group (week 9, -1.8 [-4.4 to 0.7]; week 18, -0.57 [-3.3 to 2.2]). Between-group differences were improved for the pembrolizumab-combination group (difference in LS mean scores: week 9, 3.6 [95% CI, 0.3 to 6.9], nominal = .0337; week 18, 4.9 [1.4 to 8.3], nominal = .0060). Median time to deterioration in cough, chest pain, or dyspnea was not reached in either group (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.06]; nominal = .125).

Conclusion: Addition of pembrolizumab to chemotherapy maintained or improved HRQoL measurements relative to baseline and improved HRQoL versus chemotherapy alone at weeks 9 and 18. These results support use of pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy as first-line therapy for metastatic squamous NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01348DOI Listing
January 2020

Management of pulmonary toxicity associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Eur Respir Rev 2019 Dec 6;28(154). Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Respiratory Disease Dept, Larrey Hospital, University Hospital of Toulouse, Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France

Immunotherapy has become a standard of care in oncology, following the recent approvals of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein-4 and programmed cell death-1 inhibitors in lung cancer, melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, bladder, head and neck cancers. Besides their efficacy, these agents also generate specific immune-related adverse events. Due to the increasing prescription of immune-checkpoint inhibitors, the incidence of immune toxicity will continue to rise. The awareness of immune-related adverse events is key to ensuring both diagnosis and management of the possible serious adverse events. Although severe immune-related adverse events remain rare, they can lead to discontinued treatment or to death if they are not forecasted and managed properly. Even if lung toxicity is not the most frequent adverse event, it remains critical as it can be life-threatening. Herein, the main aspects of pulmonary toxicity are reviewed and guidelines are also proposed in order to manage the possible side-effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/16000617.0012-2019DOI Listing
December 2019

Notch inhibition overcomes resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in EGFR-driven lung adenocarcinoma.

J Clin Invest 2020 02;130(2):612-624

Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier (IRCM), Université de Montpellier, Institut Régional du Cancer de Montpellier (ICM), Montpellier, France.

EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma patients treated with gefitinib and osimertinib show a therapeutic benefit limited by the appearance of secondary mutations, such as EGFRT790M and EGFRC797S. It is generally assumed that these secondary mutations render EGFR completely unresponsive to the inhibitors, but contrary to this, we uncovered here that gefitinib and osimertinib increased STAT3 phosphorylation (p-STAT3) in EGFRT790M and EGFRC797S tumoral cells. Interestingly, we also found that concomitant Notch inhibition with gefitinib or osimertinib treatment induced a p-STAT3-dependent strong reduction in the levels of the transcriptional repressor HES1. Importantly, we showed that tyrosine kinase inhibitor-resistant tumors, with EGFRT790M and EGFRC797S mutations, were highly responsive to the combined treatment of Notch inhibitors with gefitinib or osimertinib, respectively. Finally, in patients with EGFR mutations treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, HES1 protein levels increased during relapse and correlated with shorter progression-free survival. Therefore, our results offer a proof of concept for an alternative treatment to chemotherapy in lung adenocarcinoma osimertinib-treated patients after disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI126896DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6994195PMC
February 2020

Redefining malignant pleural mesothelioma types as a continuum uncovers immune-vascular interactions.

EBioMedicine 2019 Oct 21;48:191-202. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Toulouse University Hospital, Toulouse, France.

Background: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive disease related to asbestos exposure, with no effective therapeutic options.

Methods: We undertook unsupervised analyses of RNA-sequencing data of 284 MPMs, with no assumption of discreteness. Using immunohistochemistry, we performed an orthogonal validation on a subset of 103 samples and a biological replication in an independent series of 77 samples.

Findings: A continuum of molecular profiles explained the prognosis of the disease better than any discrete model. The immune and vascular pathways were the major sources of molecular variation, with strong differences in the expression of immune checkpoints and pro-angiogenic genes; the extrema of this continuum had specific molecular profiles: a "hot" bad-prognosis profile, with high lymphocyte infiltration and high expression of immune checkpoints and pro-angiogenic genes; a "cold" bad-prognosis profile, with low lymphocyte infiltration and high expression of pro-angiogenic genes; and a "VEGFR2+/VISTA+" better-prognosis profile, with high expression of immune checkpoint VISTA and pro-angiogenic gene VEGFR2. We validated the gene expression levels at the protein level for a subset of five selected genes belonging to the immune and vascular pathways (CD8A, PDL1, VEGFR3, VEGFR2, and VISTA), in the validation series, and replicated the molecular profiles as well as their prognostic value in the replication series.

Interpretation: The prognosis of MPM is best explained by a continuous model, which extremes show specific expression patterns of genes involved in angiogenesis and immune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.09.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6838392PMC
October 2019