Publications by authors named "Maximilian J Hochmair"

34 Publications

Sequential afatinib and osimertinib in patients with EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC and acquired T790M: A global non-interventional study (UpSwinG).

Lung Cancer 2021 Dec 21;162:9-15. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Internal Medicine, Niigata Cancer Center Hospital, Niigata, Japan. Electronic address:

Background: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are standard of care for EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, optimal sequence of treatment has yet to be defined. Overall survival (OS) is influenced by the availability/use of subsequent therapy after first-line treatment. Emergence of T790M is the main mechanism of resistance to afatinib and second-line osimertinib could be a treatment option in this instance.

Methods: In this non-interventional, global study (NCT04179890), existing medical/electronic records were identified for consecutive EGFR TKI-naïve patients with EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC (Del19 or L858R) treated with first-line afatinib and second-line osimertinib in regular clinical practice (n = 191; all T790M-positive). The primary objective was time to treatment failure (TTF). Key secondary objectives were OS and objective response rate (ORR).

Results: At the start of afatinib treatment, median age (range) was 62 years (34-88). Fifty-five percent of patients were female and 67% were Asian. ECOG PS (0/1/≥2) was 31%/57%/12%. Fourteen percent of patients had brain metastases. At the start of osimertinib treatment, ECOG PS (0/1/≥2) was 25%/61%/14% and 14% had brain metastases (rising to 29% at the end of osimertinib treatment). The source of biopsy material (solid/liquid) was 86%/3% at the start of afatinib and 54%/33% at start of osimertinib. Mutations were mainly detected with PCR methods. Overall, median TTF was 27.7 months (95% CI: 24.0-30.2) and median OS was 36.5 months (95% CI: 32.9-41.8). ORR with afatinib and osimertinib was 74% and 45%. TTF, OS and ORR were generally consistent across subgroups.

Conclusion: Sequential afatinib and osimertinib demonstrated encouraging activity in patients with EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC and acquired T790M. Activity was observed across all subgroups, including patients with poor ECOG PS or brain metastases. ECOG PS and incidence of brain metastases remained stable prior to, and after, afatinib treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.09.009DOI Listing
December 2021

Brigatinib Versus Crizotinib in ALK Inhibitor-Naive Advanced ALK-Positive NSCLC: Final Results of Phase 3 ALTA-1L Trial.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 12 16;16(12):2091-2108. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Royal Marsden Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Introduction: In the phase 3 study entitled ALK in Lung cancer Trial of brigAtinib in 1st Line (ALTA-1L), which is a study of brigatinib in ALK inhibitor-naive advanced ALK-positive NSCLC, brigatinib exhibited superior progression-free survival (PFS) versus crizotinib in the two planned interim analyses. Here, we report the final efficacy, safety, and exploratory results.

Methods: Patients were randomized to brigatinib 180 mg once daily (7-d lead-in at 90 mg once daily) or crizotinib 250 mg twice daily. The primary end point was a blinded independent review committee-assessed PFS. Genetic alterations in plasma cell-free DNA were assessed in relation to clinical efficacy.

Results: A total of 275 patients were enrolled (brigatinib, n = 137; crizotinib, n = 138). At study end, (brigatinib median follow-up = 40.4 mo), the 3-year PFS by blinded independent review committee was 43% (brigatinib) versus 19% (crizotinib; median = 24.0 versus 11.1 mo, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.35-0.66). The median overall survival was not reached in either group (HR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.53-1.22). Posthoc analyses suggested an overall survival benefit for brigatinib in patients with baseline brain metastases (HR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.21-0.89). Detectable baseline EML4-ALK fusion variant 3 and TP53 mutation in plasma were associated with poor PFS. Brigatinib exhibited superior efficacy compared with crizotinib regardless of EML4-ALK variant and TP53 mutation. Emerging secondary ALK mutations were rare in patients progressing on brigatinib. No new safety signals were observed.

Conclusions: In the ALTA-1L final analysis, with longer follow-up, brigatinib continued to exhibit superior efficacy and tolerability versus crizotinib in patients with or without poor prognostic biomarkers. The suggested survival benefit with brigatinib in patients with brain metastases warrants future study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.07.035DOI Listing
December 2021

Plain language summary of the final results from the GioTag study.

Future Oncol 2021 Sep 10;17(25):3285-3290. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Karl Landsteiner Institute of Lung Research & Pulmonary Oncology, Krankenhaus Nord, Vienna, Austria.

The GioTag study assessed how drugs called afatinib and osimertinib affected people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor () gene. Resistance mutations in our genes can lead to resistance to specific treatments, meaning that drugs no longer work. Patients in the current study all initially received afatinib treatment before they developed a certain resistance mutation in the gene, called T790M. Patients then started osimertinib treatment. The study aimed to identify for how long patients received treatment and for how long patients survived after their first dose of afatinib. Overall, 204 patients were included. Median overall time on treatment (afatinib and osimertinib) was 27.7 months. Median overall survival was 37.6 months. This study showed that afatinib followed by osimertinib treatment was effective in patients with NSCLC with mutations developing T790M resistance mutations on initial afatinib treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2021-0274DOI Listing
September 2021

Somatic Copy-Number Alterations in Plasma Circulating Tumor DNA from Advanced EGFR-Mutated Lung Adenocarcinoma Patients.

Biomolecules 2021 04 21;11(5). Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Comprehensive Cancer Center, Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Background: To assess the clinical relevance of genome-wide somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs) in plasma circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from advanced epidermal growth factor receptor ()-mutated lung adenocarcinoma patients.

Methods: We included 43 patients with advanced T790M-positive lung adenocarcinoma who were treated with osimertinib after progression under previous EGFR-TKI therapy. We performed genomic profiling of ctDNA in plasma samples from each patient obtained pre-osimertinib and after patients developed resistance to osimertinib. SCNAs were detected by shallow whole-genome plasma sequencing and mutations were assessed by droplet digital PCR.

Results: SCNAs in resistance-related genes (rrSCNAs) were detected in 10 out of 31 (32%) evaluable patients before start of osimertinib. The presence of rrSCNAs in plasma before the initiation of osimertinib therapy was associated with a lower response rate to osimertinib (50% versus 81%, = 0.08) and was an independent predictor for shorter progression-free survival (adjusted HR 3.33, 95% CI 1.37-8.10, = 0.008) and overall survival (adjusted HR 2.54, 95% CI 1.09-5.92, = 0.03).

Conclusions: Genomic profiling of plasma ctDNA is clinically relevant and affects the efficacy and clinical outcome of osimertinib. Our approach enables the comprehensive assessment of SCNAs in plasma samples of lung adenocarcinoma patients and may help to guide genotype-specific therapeutic strategies in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11050618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8143372PMC
April 2021

Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio Is Superior to Other Leukocyte-Based Ratios as a Prognostic Predictor in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients with Radiosurgically Treated Brain Metastases Under Immunotherapy or Targeted Therapy.

World Neurosurg 2021 07 18;151:e324-e331. Epub 2021 Apr 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

Objective: To investigate predictive value of preradiosurgery leukocyte-based prognostic ratios in a selected cohort of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with radiosurgery-treated brain metastases (BM) and concomitant immunotherapy (IT) or targeted therapy (TT).

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 166 patients with NSCLC BM treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio were assessed within 14 days before radiosurgery.

Results: In radiosurgically treated patients with NSCLC BM with concomitant IT or TT, estimated median survival after first Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment was significantly longer in patients with NLR cutoff value <5 (P = 0.038). Consequently, the Cox regression model for NLR cutoff value groups revealed a significant hazard ratio of 1.519 (95% confidence interval 1.020-2.265, P = 0.040). In addition, each increase in NLR of 1 equaled an increase of 5.4% in risk of death (hazard ratio 1.054, 95% confidence interval 1.024-1.085, P < 0.001). After adjusting for sex, age, Karnofsky performance scale, and presence of extracranial metastases, NLR remained a significant and independent predictor for survival (hazard ratio 1.047, 95% confidence interval 1.017-1.078, P = 0.002). In contrast, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio did not exhibit the same predictive value among patients with radiosurgery-treated BM with concomitant IT or TT.

Conclusions: In patients with NSCLC BM treated with radiosurgery with concomitant IT or TT, preradiosurgery NLR represents a simple prognostic predictor for survival and is superior to other leukocyte-based ratios. NLR may be relevant for clinical decision making, therapeutic evaluation, patient counseling, and appropriate stratification of future clinical trials among patients with radiosurgery-treated BM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.04.033DOI Listing
July 2021

Detection of EGFR Activating and Resistance Mutations by Droplet Digital PCR in Sputum of EGFR-Mutated NSCLC Patients.

Clin Med Insights Oncol 2021 17;15:1179554921993072. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Proof of the T790M resistance mutation is mandatory if patients with -mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) progress under first- or second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. In addition to rebiopsy, analysis of plasma circulating tumor DNA is used to detect T790M resistance mutation. We studied whether sputum is another feasible specimen for detection of mutations.

Methods: Twenty-eight patients with advanced -mutated NSCLC were included during stable and/or progressive disease. The initial activating mutations (exon 19 deletions or L858R mutations) at stable disease and at progressive disease (together with T790M) were assessed in simultaneously collected plasma and sputum samples and detected by droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR).

Results: Activating mutations were detected in 47% of the plasma samples and 41% of sputum samples during stable disease, and in 57% of plasma samples and 64% of sputum samples during progressive disease. T790M was detected in 44% of the plasma samples and 66% of the sputum samples at progressive disease. In ddPCR T790M-negative results for both specimens (plasma and sputum), negativity was confirmed by rebiopsy in 5 samples. Concordance rate of plasma and sputum for T790M was 0.86, with a positive percent agreement of 1.0 and a negative percent agreement of 0.80.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that mutation analysis with ddPCR is feasible in sputum samples. Combination of plasma and sputum analyses for detection of T790M in NSCLC patients with progressive disease increases the diagnostic yield compared with molecular plasma analysis alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1179554921993072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894584PMC
February 2021

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated with Immunotherapy or Targeted Therapy.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 7;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

The combination of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) and systemic immunotherapy (IT) or targeted therapy (TT) is a novel treatment method for brain metastases (BMs) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). To elucidate the safety and efficacy of concomitant IT or TT on the outcome after GKRS, 496 NSCLC patients with BMs, who were treated with GKRS were retrospectively reviewed. The median time between the initial lung cancer diagnosis and the diagnosis of brain metastases was one month. The survival after the initial BM diagnosis was significantly longer than the survival predicted by prognostic BM scores. After the first Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment (GKRS1), the estimated median survival was 9.9 months (95% CI = 8.3-11.4). Patients with concurrent IT or TT presented with a significantly longer survival after GKRS1 than patients without IT or TT ( < 0.001). These significant differences in the survival were also apparent among the four treatment groups and remained significant after adjustment for Karnofsky performance status scale (KPS), recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) class, sex, and multiple BMs. About half of all our patients (46%) developed new distant BMs after GKRS1. Of note, no statistically significant differences in the occurrence of radiation reaction, radiation necrosis, or intralesional hemorrhage in association with IT or TT at or after GKRS1 were observed. In NSCLC-BM patients, the concomitant use of GKRS and IT or TT showed an increase in overall survival without increased complications related to GKRS. Therefore, the combined treatment with GKRS and IT or TT seems to be a safe and powerful treatment option and emphasizes the role of radiosurgery in modern BM treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123668DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7762317PMC
December 2020

Durvalumab, with or without tremelimumab, plus platinum-etoposide versus platinum-etoposide alone in first-line treatment of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (CASPIAN): updated results from a randomised, controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2021 01 4;22(1):51-65. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, H120-CNIO Lung Cancer Unit, Universidad Complutense and Ciberonc, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: First-line durvalumab plus etoposide with either cisplatin or carboplatin (platinum-etoposide) showed a significant improvement in overall survival versus platinum-etoposide alone in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) in the CASPIAN study. Here we report updated results, including the primary analysis for overall survival with durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide versus platinum-etoposide alone.

Methods: CASPIAN is an ongoing, open-label, sponsor-blind, randomised, controlled phase 3 trial at 209 cancer treatment centres in 23 countries worldwide. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older (20 years in Japan) and had treatment-naive, histologically or cytologically documented ES-SCLC, with a WHO performance status of 0 or 1. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) in blocks of six, stratified by planned platinum, using an interactive voice-response or web-response system to receive intravenous durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide, durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide, or platinum-etoposide alone. In all groups, patients received etoposide 80-100 mg/m on days 1-3 of each cycle with investigator's choice of either carboplatin area under the curve 5-6 mg/mL/min or cisplatin 75-80 mg/m on day 1 of each cycle. Patients in the platinum-etoposide group received up to six cycles of platinum-etoposide every 3 weeks and optional prophylactic cranial irradiation (investigator's discretion). Patients in the immunotherapy groups received four cycles of platinum-etoposide plus durvalumab 1500 mg with or without tremelimumab 75 mg every 3 weeks followed by maintenance durvalumab 1500 mg every 4 weeks. The two primary endpoints were overall survival for durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide versus platinum-etoposide and for durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide versus platinum-etoposide in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of study treatment. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03043872.

Findings: Between March 27, 2017, and May 29, 2018, 972 patients were screened and 805 were randomly assigned (268 to durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide, 268 to durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide, and 269 to platinum-etoposide). As of Jan 27, 2020, the median follow-up was 25·1 months (IQR 22·3-27·9). Durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide was not associated with a significant improvement in overall survival versus platinum-etoposide (hazard ratio [HR] 0·82 [95% CI 0·68-1·00]; p=0·045); median overall survival was 10·4 months (95% CI 9·6-12·0) versus 10·5 months (9·3-11·2). Durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide showed sustained improvement in overall survival versus platinum-etoposide (HR 0·75 [95% CI 0·62-0·91]; nominal p=0·0032); median overall survival was 12·9 months (95% CI 11·3-14·7) versus 10·5 months (9·3-11·2). The most common any-cause grade 3 or worse adverse events were neutropenia (85 [32%] of 266 patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide group, 64 [24%] of 265 patients in the durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide group, and 88 [33%] of 266 patients in the platinum-etoposide group) and anaemia (34 [13%], 24 [9%], and 48 [18%]). Any-cause serious adverse events were reported in 121 (45%) patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide group, 85 (32%) in the durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide group, and 97 (36%) in the platinum-etoposide group. Treatment-related deaths occurred in 12 (5%) patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide group (death, febrile neutropenia, and pulmonary embolism [n=2 each]; enterocolitis, general physical health deterioration and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, pneumonia, pneumonitis and hepatitis, respiratory failure, and sudden death [n=1 each]), six (2%) patients in the durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide group (cardiac arrest, dehydration, hepatotoxicity, interstitial lung disease, pancytopenia, and sepsis [n=1 each]), and two (1%) in the platinum-etoposide group (pancytopenia and thrombocytopenia [n=1 each]).

Interpretation: First-line durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide showed sustained overall survival improvement versus platinum-etoposide but the addition of tremelimumab to durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide did not significantly improve outcomes versus platinum-etoposide. These results support the use of durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide as a new standard of care for the first-line treatment of ES-SCLC.

Funding: AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30539-8DOI Listing
January 2021

The Allele Frequency of EGFR Mutations Predicts Survival in Advanced EGFR T790M-Positive Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated with Osimertinib.

Target Oncol 2021 01 3;16(1):77-84. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Borschkegasse 8a, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

Background: The allele frequency of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations could be a potential molecular biomarker for the outcome of osimertinib therapy.

Objective: The purpose of our study was to assess the clinical relevance of the allele frequency of EGFR mutations in plasma-based circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) before starting osimertinib therapy in patients with advanced EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had progressed under treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).

Patients And Methods: We enrolled 141 patients with advanced EGFR T790M-positive NSCLC who underwent second-line osimertinib treatment. Plasma ctDNA was tested for EGFR-activating mutations (EGFR deletions in exon 19, L858R, L861Q, S768I) and T790M by means of droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR).

Results: The allele frequency of EGFR-activating mutations in plasma ctDNA before osimertinib initiation ranged from 0 to 81,543 copies/ml and was independently associated with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) after adjusting for known clinicopathological risk factors (PFS: adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.15-1.39, P < 0.0001; OS: adjusted HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.18-1.47, P < 0.0001). The allele frequency of T790M in plasma ctDNA before starting osimertinib therapy ranged from 0 to 38,092 copies/ml. Multivariate analyses showed that a higher T790M allele frequency was associated with a trend towards a shorter PFS (adjusted HR 1.19, 95% CI 0.99-1.42, P = 0.05) and a significantly shorter OS (adjusted HR 1.25, 95% CI 1.02-1.53, P = 0.03) of the patients.

Conclusion: A higher allele frequency of EGFR mutations, particularly EGFR-activating mutations, in plasma ctDNA is a poor prognostic marker. Further studies on the clinical utility of liquid biopsy are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-020-00781-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7810636PMC
January 2021

Pre-radiosurgery leucocyte ratios and modified glasgow prognostic score predict survival in non-small cell lung cancer brain metastases patients.

J Neurooncol 2021 Jan 11;151(2):257-265. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

Introduction: The predictive value of the pre-radiosurgery Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR), Platelet-to-Lymphocyte Ratio (PLR), Lymphocyte-to-Monocyte Ratio (LMR) and the modified Glasgow Prognostic Score (mGPS) was assessed for the first time in a homogenous group of NSCLC brain metastaes (BM) patients.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 185 NSCLC-BM patients, who were treated with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (GKRS). Patients with immunotherapy or targeted therapy were excluded. Routine laboratory parameters were reviewed within 14 days before GKRS1.

Results: Median survival after GKRS1 was significantly longer in patients with NLR < 5 (p < 0.001), PLR < 180 (p = 0.003) and LMR ≥ 4 (p = 0.023). The Cox regression model for the continuous metric values revealed that each increase in the NLR of 1 equaled an increase of 4.3% in risk of death (HR: 1.043; 95%CI = 1.020-1.067, p < 0.001); each increase in the PLR of 10 caused an increase of 1.3% in risk of death (HR: 1.013; 95%CI = 1.004-1.021; p = 0.003) and each increase in the LMR of 1 equaled a decrease of 20.5% in risk of death (HR: 0.795; 95%CI = 0.697-0.907; p = 0.001). Moreover, the mGPS group was a highly significant predictor for survival after GKRS1 (p < 0.001) with a HR of 2.501 (95%CI = 1.582-3.954; p < 0.001). NLR, PLR, LMR values and mGPS groups were validated as independent prognostic factors for risk of death after adjusting for sex, KPS, age and presence of extracranial metastases.

Conclusion: NLR, PLR, LMR and mGPS represent effective and simple tools to predict survival in NSCLC patients prior to radiosurgery for brain metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03660-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875838PMC
January 2021

Later-Line Treatment with Lorlatinib in - and -Rearrangement-Positive NSCLC: A Retrospective, Multicenter Analysis.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2020 Nov 7;13(11). Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Karl Landsteiner Institute of Lung Research and Pulmonary Oncology, Klinik Floridsdorf, Brünner Strasse 68, 1210 Vienna, Austria.

In clinical practice, patients with -rearrangement-positive non-small-cell lung cancer commonly receive sequential treatment with ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The third-generation agent lorlatinib has been shown to inhibit a wide range of resistance mutations and thus offers potential benefit in later lines, although real-world data are lacking. This multicenter study retrospectively investigated later-line, real-world use of lorlatinib in patients with advanced - or -positive lung cancer. Fifty-one patients registered in a compassionate use program in Austria, who received second- or later-line lorlatinib between January 2016 and May 2020, were included in this retrospective real-world data analysis. Median follow-up was 25.3 months. Median time of lorlatinib treatment was 4.4 months for -positive and 12.2 months for -positive patients. -positive patients showed a response rate of 43.2%, while 85.7% percent of the -positive patients were considered responders. Median overall survival from lorlatinib initiation was 10.2 and 20.0 months for the - and -positive groups, respectively. In the -positive group, lorlatinib proved efficacy after both brigatinib and alectinib. Lorlatinib treatment was well tolerated. Later-line lorlatinib treatment can induce sustained responses in patients with advanced - and -positive lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph13110371DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694976PMC
November 2020

Patient-reported outcomes with first-line durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide versus platinum-etoposide in extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (CASPIAN): a randomized, controlled, open-label, phase III study.

Lung Cancer 2020 11 10;149:46-52. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, H120-CNIO Lung Cancer Unit, Universidad Complutense and Ciberonc, Madrid, Spain.

Objectives: In the phase III CASPIAN study, first-line durvalumab plus etoposide in combination with either cisplatin or carboplatin (EP) significantly improved overall survival (primary endpoint) versus EP alone in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) at the interim analysis. Here we report patient-reported outcomes (PROs).

Materials And Methods: Treatment-naïve patients with ES-SCLC received 4 cycles of durvalumab plus EP every 3 weeks followed by maintenance durvalumab every 4 weeks until progression, or up to 6 cycles of EP every 3 weeks. PROs, assessed with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (QLQ-C30) version 3 and its lung cancer module, the Quality of Life Questionnaire-Lung Cancer 13 (QLQ-LC13), were prespecified secondary endpoints. Changes from baseline to disease progression or 12 months in prespecified key disease-related symptoms (cough, dyspnea, chest pain, fatigue, appetite loss) were analyzed with a mixed model for repeated measures. Time to deterioration (TTD) of symptoms, functioning, and global health status/quality of life (QoL) from randomization was analyzed.

Results: In the durvalumab plus EP and EP arms, 261 and 260 patients were PRO-evaluable. Patients in both arms experienced numerically reduced symptom burden over 12 months or until progression for key symptoms. For the improvements from baseline in appetite loss, the between-arm difference was statistically significant, favoring durvalumab plus EP (difference, -4.5; 99% CI: -9.04, -0.04; nominal p = 0.009). Patients experienced longer TTD with durvalumab plus EP versus EP for all symptoms (hazard ratio [95% CI] for key symptoms: cough 0.78 [0.600‒1.026]; dyspnea 0.79 [0.625‒1.006]; chest pain 0.76 [0.575‒0.996]; fatigue 0.82 [0.653‒1.027]; appetite loss 0.70 [0.542‒0.899]), functioning, and global health status/QoL.

Conclusion: Addition of durvalumab to first-line EP maintained QoL and delayed worsening of patient-reported symptoms, functioning, and global health status/QoL compared with EP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.09.003DOI Listing
November 2020

Sequential afatinib and osimertinib in patients with mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer: final analysis of the GioTag study.

Future Oncol 2020 Dec 28;16(34):2799-2808. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

University Clinic Golnik, University of Ljubljana, 4204 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Final overall survival (OS) and time on treatment analysis of patients with mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received sequential afatinib and osimertinib. Patients (n = 203) had T790M-positive disease following first-line afatinib and started osimertinib treatment ≥10 months before data entry. Primary outcome was time on treatment; OS analysis was exploratory. Median time on treatment with afatinib and osimertinib was 27.7 months (90% CI: 26.7-29.9). Median OS was 37.6 months (90% CI: 35.5-41.3); median OS was 41.6 and 44.8 months in Del19-positive patients and Asian patients, respectively. In real-world clinical practice, sequential afatinib and osimertinib was associated with encouraging outcomes in patients with mutation-positive NSCLC, especially in Del19-positive patients and Asian patients. NCT03370770 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0740DOI Listing
December 2020

Brigatinib Versus Crizotinib in Advanced ALK Inhibitor-Naive ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Second Interim Analysis of the Phase III ALTA-1L Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 11 11;38(31):3592-3603. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Royal Marsden Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Purpose: Brigatinib, a next-generation anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, demonstrated superior progression-free survival (PFS) and improved health-related quality of life (QoL) versus crizotinib in advanced ALK inhibitor-naive ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at first interim analysis (99 events; median brigatinib follow-up, 11.0 months) in the open-label, phase III ALTA-1L trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02737501). We report results of the second prespecified interim analysis (150 events).

Methods: Patients with ALK inhibitor-naive advanced ALK-positive NSCLC were randomly assigned 1:1 to brigatinib 180 mg once daily (7-day lead-in at 90 mg once daily) or crizotinib 250 mg twice daily. The primary end point was PFS as assessed by blinded independent review committee (BIRC). Investigator-assessed efficacy, blood samples for pharmacokinetic assessments, and patient-reported outcomes were also collected.

Results: Two hundred seventy-five patients were randomly assigned (brigatinib, n = 137; crizotinib, n = 138). With median follow-up of 24.9 months for brigatinib (150 PFS events), brigatinib showed consistent superiority in BIRC-assessed PFS versus crizotinib (hazard ratio [HR], 0.49 [95% CI, 0.35 to 0.68]; log-rank < .0001; median, 24.0 11.0 months). Investigator-assessed PFS HR was 0.43 (95% CI, 0.31 to 0.61; median, 29.4 9.2 months). No new safety concerns emerged. Brigatinib delayed median time to worsening of global health status/QoL scores compared with crizotinib (HR, 0.70 [95% CI, 0.49 to 1.00]; log-rank = .049). Brigatinib daily area under the plasma concentration-time curve was not a predictor of PFS (HR, 1.005 [95% CI, 0.98 to 1.031]; = .69).

Conclusion: Brigatinib represents a once-daily ALK inhibitor with superior efficacy, tolerability, and QoL over crizotinib, making it a promising first-line treatment of ALK-positive NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605398PMC
November 2020

mutation tracking predicts survival in advanced -mutated non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with osimertinib.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2020 Apr;9(2):239-245

Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Osimertinib has become standard therapy of advanced epidermal growth factor receptor ()-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and T790M-mediated resistance. We investigated the clinical utility of mutation tracking in plasma-based circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) after start of osimertinib therapy in metastatic, -mutant NSCLC patients who had progressed on prior therapy with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).

Methods: We enrolled 141 patients with advanced -mutated NSCLC who underwent second-line osimertinib treatment for T790M-positive disease. After initiation of osimertinib, we obtained plasma samples from 108 patients. Plasma ctDNA was tested for mutations by means of droplet digital PCR and was termed positive if any mutation was detected.

Results: Plasma ctDNA was detected in 58 of 108 (54%) patients after osimertinib initiation and was associated with poor progression-free survival (PFS) [hazard ratio (HR) 4.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.55-7.10, P<0.0001] and overall survival (OS) (HR 3.23, 95% CI: 1.80-5.78, P<0.0001). In multivariable analysis, ctDNA status remained significantly associated with PFS and OS (HR 4.87, 95% CI: 2.81-8.44, P<0.0001; HR 3.49, 95% CI: 1.88-6.50, P<0.0001). Patients with persistence of activating EGFR mutations within eight weeks had shorter durations of PFS (HR 6.17, 95% CI: 3.03-12.56, P<0.0001) and OS (HR 4.83, 95% CI: 2.25-10.36, P<0.0001) than patients with total clearance of the activating EGFR mutation. Persistence of activating EGFR mutations in plasma ctDNA remained an independent predictor of poor PFS and OS in multivariable analyses.

Conclusions: Patients with persistence of activating mutations in plasma ctDNA within eight weeks after osimertinib initiation have worse prognosis and may require the addition of chemotherapy or other treatments in order to achieve better outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2020.03.02DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225165PMC
April 2020

Real-world treatment duration in ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer patients receiving brigatinib through the early access program.

Future Oncol 2020 May 27;16(15):1031-1041. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Karl Landsteiner Institute of Lung Research & Pulmonary Oncology, Department of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Krankenhaus Nord, Vienna, Austria.

To assess time-to-treatment discontinuation (TTD) of brigatinib following treatment with ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor(s) (TKIs) in patients with ALK-positive (ALK+) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving brigatinib through the international early access program. Analysis was performed for patients with ALK+ NSCLC treated with prior ALK TKIs, including next-generation ALK TKIs. Data for 604 patients (21 countries), including patients with prior next-generation ALK TKIs, were reported. The median TTD of brigatinib in patients with prior crizotinib, alectinib, ceritinib or lorlatinib was 10.0, 8.7, 10.3 and 7.5 months, respectively. Brigatinib appears to be effective and tolerable in real-world clinical practice regardless of prior treatment with first or NG ALK TKIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2019-0849DOI Listing
May 2020

Updated Analysis From KEYNOTE-189: Pembrolizumab or Placebo Plus Pemetrexed and Platinum for Previously Untreated Metastatic Nonsquamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2020 05 9;38(14):1505-1517. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: In KEYNOTE-189, first-line pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum significantly improved overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared with placebo plus pemetrexed-platinum in patients with metastatic nonsquamous non‒small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), irrespective of tumor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression. We report an updated analysis from KEYNOTE-189 (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02578680).

Methods: Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive pemetrexed and platinum plus pembrolizumab (n = 410) or placebo (n = 206) every 3 weeks for 4 cycles, then pemetrexed maintenance plus pembrolizumab or placebo for up to a total of 35 cycles. Eligible patients with disease progression in the placebo-combination group could cross over to pembrolizumab monotherapy. Response was assessed per RECIST (version 1.1) by central review. No alpha was assigned to this updated analysis.

Results: As of September 21, 2018 (median follow-up, 23.1 months), the updated median (95% CI) OS was 22.0 (19.5 to 25.2) months in the pembrolizumab-combination group versus 10.7 (8.7 to 13.6) months in the placebo-combination group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.56; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.70]). Median (95% CI) PFS was 9.0 (8.1 to 9.9) months and 4.9 (4.7 to 5.5) months, respectively (HR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.58). Median (95% CI) time from randomization to objective tumor progression on next-line treatment or death from any cause, whichever occurred first (progression-free-survival-2; PFS-2) was 17.0 (15.1 to 19.4) months and 9.0 (7.6 to 10.4) months, respectively (HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.59). OS and PFS benefits with pembrolizumab were observed regardless of PD-L1 expression or presence of liver/brain metastases. Incidence of grade 3-5 adverse events was similar in the pembrolizumab-combination (71.9%) and placebo-combination (66.8%) groups.

Conclusion: First-line pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum continued to demonstrate substantially improved OS and PFS in metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC, regardless of PD-L1 expression or liver/brain metastases, with manageable safety and tolerability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.03136DOI Listing
May 2020

Patient-reported outcomes following pembrolizumab or placebo plus pemetrexed and platinum in patients with previously untreated, metastatic, non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (KEYNOTE-189): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 03 6;21(3):387-397. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Insular Materno-Infantil de Gran Canaria, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

Background: Pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum led to superior overall survival and progression-free survival, and a higher proportion of patients with a confirmed complete or partial response over placebo plus pemetrexed-platinum in the KEYNOTE-189 study. We aimed to evaluate prespecified exploratory patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in patients in KEYNOTE-189.

Methods: In the multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 KEYNOTE-189 study done at 126 cancer centres in 16 countries, eligible patients aged 18 years or older with histologically or cytologically confirmed metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer without sensitising EGFR or ALK alterations, measurable disease as per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (version 1.1), and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1 were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive intravenous pembrolizumab (200 mg) or saline placebo every 3 weeks for up to 2 years (35 cycles); all patients received four cycles of intravenous pemetrexed (500 mg/m) with carboplatin (5 mg/mL per min) or cisplatin (75 mg/m; investigator's choice) every 3 weeks for four cycles, followed by pemetrexed maintenance therapy every 3 weeks. Permuted block randomisation (block size six) was done with an interactive voice-response system and stratified by PD-L1 expression, choice of platinum, and smoking status. Patients, investigators, and other study personnel were unaware of treatment assignment. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and Lung Cancer 13 (QLQ-LC13) were administered at cycles 1-5, every three cycles thereafter during year 1, and every four cycles during years 2-3. The primary endpoints (overall survival and progression-free survival) have been published previously. Key PRO endpoints were change from baseline to week 12 (during chemotherapy) and week 21 (following chemotherapy) in QLQ-C30 global health status/quality of life (GHS/QOL) score, and time to deterioration in cough, chest pain, or dyspnoea. PROs were analysed in all randomly assigned patients who received at least one dose of study medication and who completed at least one PRO assessment, and the results are provided with two-sided, nominal p values. This ongoing study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02578680.

Findings: Between Feb 26, 2016, and March 6, 2017, 616 patients were enrolled; median follow-up was 10·5 months (range 0·2-20·4) as of data cutoff on Nov 8, 2017. 402 (99%) of 405 patients in the pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum group and 200 (99%) of 202 patients in the placebo plus pemetrexed-platinum-treated group completed at least one PRO assessment. At baseline, 359 (89%) of 402 patients in the pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum group and 180 (90%) of 200 in the placebo plus pemetrexed-platinum group were compliant with QLQ-C30; at week 12, 319 (90%) of 354 and 149 (89%) of 167 patients were compliant, respectively; and at week 21, 249 (76%) of 326 and 91 (64%) of 143 patients were compliant, respectively. From baseline to week 12, GHS/QOL scores were maintained with both pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum (least-squares mean change: 1·0 point [95% CI -1·3 to 3·2] increase) and placebo plus pemetrexed-platinum (-2·6 points [-5·8 to 0·5] decrease; between-group difference: 3·6 points [-0·1 to 7·2]; p=0·053). From baseline to week 21, GHS/QOL scores were better maintained with pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum (least-squares mean change: 1·3 points [95% CI -1·2 to 3·6] increase) than with placebo plus pemetrexed-platinum (-4·0 points [-7·7 to -0·3] decrease; between-group difference: 5·3 points [1·1 to 9·5]; p=0·014). Median time to deterioration in cough, chest pain, or dyspnoea was not reached (95% CI 10·2 months to not reached) with pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum, and was 7·0 months (4·8 months to not reached) with placebo plus pemetrexed-platinum (hazard ratio 0·81 [95% CI 0·60-1·09], p=0·16).

Interpretation: The addition of pembrolizumab to standard chemotherapy maintained GHS/QOL, with improved GHS/QOL scores at week 21 in the pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy group compared with the placebo plus chemotherapy group. These data further support use of pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed-platinum as first-line therapy for patients with metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30801-0DOI Listing
March 2020

Observational Study of Sequential Afatinib and Osimertinib in EGFR Mutation-Positive NSCLC: Patients Treated with a 40-mg Starting Dose of Afatinib.

Adv Ther 2020 02 20;37(2):759-769. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vienna North Hospital, Karl Landsteiner Institute of Lung Research and Pulmonary Oncology, Vienna, Austria.

Introduction: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are the standard of care for patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, questions remain about the optimal treatment sequence of EGFR TKIs. The global, observational GioTag study demonstrated prolonged time on treatment with sequential afatinib and osimertinib therapy in patients who acquired the T790M mutation. Here, we assessed outcomes in patients who received the approved 40-mg starting dose of afatinib, as used in the clinical trial setting.

Methods: In the non-interventional, global, multicenter GioTag study, patients had T790M-positive disease following first-line afatinib and started osimertinib treatment ≥ 10 months prior to data entry. Primary outcome was time on treatment. This subanalysis assessed outcomes in patients who received afatinib 40 mg.

Results: In 169 patients who received an afatinib starting dose of 40 mg, median time on treatment was 27.6 months (90% confidence interval [CI] 26.3-31.3). Benefit was seen across patient subgroups, particularly those with Del19-positive disease and Asian patients; median time on treatment was 29.9 months (90% CI 27.6-46.7) in patients with Del19-positive disease and 46.7 months (90% CI 28.4-not reached) in Asian patients. The 2-year overall survival rate was 80%.

Conclusions: These real-world results support the overall study results and demonstrate prolonged time on treatment with sequential afatinib and osimertinib. The results suggest that sequential afatinib and osimertinib is a feasible therapeutic strategy for patients who acquire the T790M mutation, particularly those with Del19-positive disease or Asian patients.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03370770.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-019-01187-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7004431PMC
February 2020

Brigatinib in Crizotinib-Refractory ALK+ NSCLC: 2-Year Follow-up on Systemic and Intracranial Outcomes in the Phase 2 ALTA Trial.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 03 19;15(3):404-415. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, Colorado.

Introduction: We report updated data from a phase 2 randomized study evaluating brigatinib in crizotinib-refractory anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive NSCLC.

Methods: Patients were randomized 1:1 to take either oral brigatinib 90 mg once daily (arm A) or 180 mg once daily with a 7-day lead-in at 90 mg (arm B), stratified by central nervous system (CNS) metastases and best response to crizotinib. The primary end point was investigator-assessed confirmed objective response rate per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1. Secondary end points included independent review committee (IRC)-assessed progression-free survival (PFS), intracranial PFS (iPFS), and overall survival (OS). Exploratory analyses included CNS versus ex-CNS target lesion response and correlation of depth of response with PFS and OS.

Results: Among 222 randomized patients (112 and 110 in arms A and B, respectively), 59 (27%) remained on brigatinib at analysis (median follow-up: 19.6 versus 24.3 months). At baseline, 71% and 67% had brain lesions among A and B arms, respectively. Investigator-assessed confirmed objective response rate was 46% versus 56%. Median IRC-assessed PFS was 9.2 months (95% confidence interval: 7.4-12.8) versus 16.7 months (11.6-21.4). Median OS was 29.5 months (18.2-not reached) versus 34.1 months (27.7-not reached). IRC-confirmed intracranial objective response rate in patients with measurable baseline brain lesions was 50% (13 of 26) versus 67% (12 of 18); median duration of intracranial response was 9.4 versus 16.6 months. IRC-assessed iPFS was 12.8 versus 18.4 months. Across arms, median IRC-assessed PFS was 1.9, 5.5, 11.1, 16.7, and 15.6 months for patients with no, 1%-25%, 26%-50%, 51%-75%, and 76%-100% target lesion shrinkage, respectively. No new safety findings were observed with longer follow-up.

Conclusions: Brigatinib (180 mg once daily with lead-in) continues to demonstrate robust PFS, long iPFS and duration of intracranial response, and high intracranial objective response rate in crizotinib-refractory patients. Depth of response may be an important end point to capture in future targeted therapy trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.11.004DOI Listing
March 2020

Durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide versus platinum-etoposide in first-line treatment of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (CASPIAN): a randomised, controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial.

Lancet 2019 11 4;394(10212):1929-1939. Epub 2019 Oct 4.

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: Most patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) have extensive-stage disease at presentation, and prognosis remains poor. Recently, immunotherapy has demonstrated clinical activity in extensive-stage SCLC (ES-SCLC). The CASPIAN trial assessed durvalumab, with or without tremelimumab, in combination with etoposide plus either cisplatin or carboplatin (platinum-etoposide) in treatment-naive patients with ES-SCLC.

Methods: This randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial was done at 209 sites across 23 countries. Eligible patients were adults with untreated ES-SCLC, with WHO performance status 0 or 1 and measurable disease as per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Patients were randomly assigned (in a 1:1:1 ratio) to durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide; durvalumab plus tremelimumab plus platinum-etoposide; or platinum-etoposide alone. All drugs were administered intravenously. Platinum-etoposide consisted of etoposide 80-100 mg/m on days 1-3 of each cycle with investigator's choice of either carboplatin area under the curve 5-6 mg/mL per min or cisplatin 75-80 mg/m (administered on day 1 of each cycle). Patients received up to four cycles of platinum-etoposide plus durvalumab 1500 mg with or without tremelimumab 75 mg every 3 weeks followed by maintenance durvalumab 1500 mg every 4 weeks in the immunotherapy groups and up to six cycles of platinum-etoposide every 3 weeks plus prophylactic cranial irradiation (investigator's discretion) in the platinum-etoposide group. The primary endpoint was overall survival in the intention-to-treat population. We report results for the durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide group versus the platinum-etoposide group from a planned interim analysis. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of their assigned study treatment. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03043872, and is ongoing.

Findings: Patients were enrolled between March 27, 2017, and May 29, 2018. 268 patients were allocated to the durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide group and 269 to the platinum-etoposide group. Durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide was associated with a significant improvement in overall survival, with a hazard ratio of 0·73 (95% CI 0·59-0·91; p=0·0047]); median overall survival was 13·0 months (95% CI 11·5-14·8) in the durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide group versus 10·3 months (9·3-11·2) in the platinum-etoposide group, with 34% (26·9-41·0) versus 25% (18·4-31·6) of patients alive at 18 months. Any-cause adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 163 (62%) of 265 treated patients in the durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide group and 166 (62%) of 266 in the platinum-etoposide group; adverse events leading to death occurred in 13 (5%) and 15 (6%) patients.

Interpretation: First-line durvalumab plus platinum-etoposide significantly improved overall survival in patients with ES-SCLC versus a clinically relevant control group. Safety findings were consistent with the known safety profiles of all drugs received.

Funding: AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32222-6DOI Listing
November 2019

Sequential afatinib and osimertinib in patients with mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer: updated analysis of the observational GioTag study.

Future Oncol 2019 Sep 2;15(25):2905-2914. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

University Clinic Golnik, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Overall survival (OS) and updated time to treatment failure (TTF) analysis of patients with mutation-positive (Del19, L858R) non-small-cell lung cancer who received sequential afatinib/osimertinib in the real-world GioTag study. Patients had T790M-positive disease following first-line afatinib and received osimertinib treatment (n = 203). Primary outcome was TTF. The OS analysis was exploratory. Median OS was 41.3 months (90% CI: 36.8-46.3) overall and 45.7 months (90% CI: 45.3-51.5) in patients with Del19-positive tumors (n = 149); 2-year survival was 80 and 82%, respectively. Updated median TTF with afatinib and osimertinib was 28.1 months (90% CI: 26.8-30.3). Sequential afatinib/osimertinib was associated with encouraging OS/TTF in patients with T790M-positive non-small-cell lung cancer, especially in patients with Del19-positive tumors. NCT03370770.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2019-0346DOI Listing
September 2019

How can better identification of T790M help to inform treatment sequencing decisions in mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer?

Future Oncol 2019 Sep 29;15(25):2895-2898. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Department of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine & Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for COPD & Respiratory Epidemiology, Otto Wagner Hospital, 1140 Vienna, Austria.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2019-0142DOI Listing
September 2019

EGFR Mutations in Cell-free Plasma DNA from Patients with Advanced Lung Adenocarcinoma: Improved Detection by Droplet Digital PCR.

Target Oncol 2019 04;14(2):197-203

Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Borschkegasse 8a, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Analysis of cell-free DNA from blood could provide an alternative method for identifying genomic changes in the tumors of patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma.

Objective: We compared the performance of droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and Cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2 (Cobas) for detecting EGFR mutations in cell-free plasma DNA.

Patients And Methods: Plasma samples from patients with advanced EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma were analyzed for EGFR T790M, exon 19 deletions, and L858R mutations by both ddPCR and Cobas.

Results: T790M testing was performed in 354 plasma samples collected from 129 patients. The concordance rate between ddPCR and Cobas for T790M, sensitivity, and specificity were 86, 100, and 85%, respectively. Exon 19 deletions were analyzed in 196 plasma samples obtained from 71 of the 129 patients using both platforms. The concordance rate between ddPCR and Cobas for exon 19 deletions, sensitivity, and specificity were 90, 92, and 89%, respectively. L858R mutations were studied in 124 plasma samples obtained from 44 of the 129 patients using both assays. The concordance rate between ddPCR and Cobas for L858R, sensitivity, and specificity were 90, 91, and 89%, respectively. In patients who progressed under treatment with an EGFR TKI (n = 50), the T790M positivity rate was 66% using ddPCR, but only 24% using Cobas.

Conclusions: We observed a high concordance between ddPCR and Cobas in detecting EGFR mutations in plasma samples of patients with advanced EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma, but ddPCR was more sensitive than Cobas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-019-00623-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6453866PMC
April 2019

Liquid-Biopsy-Based Identification of EGFR T790M Mutation-Mediated Resistance to Afatinib Treatment in Patients with Advanced EGFR Mutation-Positive NSCLC, and Subsequent Response to Osimertinib.

Target Oncol 2019 02;14(1):75-83

Institute of Cancer Research, Department of Medicine I, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Borschkegasse 8a, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Acquired epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation is the primary resistance mechanism to first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) used in advanced, EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Available data, predominantly in Asian patients, suggest that this mutation is also the major cause of resistance to the irreversible ErbB family blocker, afatinib. For EGFR T790M-positive patients who progress on EGFR TKI therapy, osimertinib is an effective treatment option. However, data on osimertinib use after afatinib are, to date, scarce.

Objective: To identify the prevalence of EGFR T790M mutations in predominantly Caucasian patients with stage IV EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC who progressed on afatinib, and to investigate the subsequent response to osimertinib.

Patients And Methods: In this single-center, retrospective analysis, EGFR T790M mutation status after afatinib failure was assessed using liquid biopsy and tissue rebiopsy. EGFR T790M-positive patients subsequently received osimertinib.

Results: Sixty-seven patients received afatinib in the first-, second-, or third-line (80.6%, 14.9%, and 4.5%, respectively). After afatinib failure, the T790M mutation was identified in 49 patients (73.1%). Liquid biopsy and tissue rebiopsy were concordant in 79.4% of cases. All patients with T790M-positive tumors received osimertinib (73.5% after first-line afatinib); 37 (75.5%) of these had an objective response (complete response: 22.4%; partial response: 53.1%). Response rate was independent of T790M copy number.

Conclusion: EGFR T790M mutation is a major mechanism of acquired resistance to afatinib. Osimertinib confers high response rates after afatinib failure in EGFR T790M-positive patients and its use in sequence potentially allows extended chemotherapy-free treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-018-0612-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6403194PMC
February 2019

Sequential treatment with afatinib and osimertinib in patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer: an observational study.

Future Oncol 2018 Nov 19;14(27):2861-2874. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

Medical Faculty, University Clinic Golnik, University of Ljubljana, Ljubliana, Slovenia.

Aim: To assess outcomes in patients with EGFR mutation-positive (Del19, L858R) non-small-cell lung cancer receiving sequential afatinib and osimertinib in a real-world clinical setting. Materials & methods: In this retrospective, observational, multicenter study, patients (n = 204) had T790M-positive disease following first-line afatinib and started osimertinib treatment ≥10 months prior to data entry. Primary outcome was time on treatment.

Results: Overall median time on treatment was 27.6 months (90% CI: 25.9-31.3), 30.3 months (90% CI: 27.6-44.5) in Del19-positive patients and 46.7 months (90% CI: 26.8-not reached) in Asians. The 2-year overall survival was 78.9%.

Conclusion: In real-world clinical practice, sequential afatinib and osimertinib facilitates prolonged, chemotherapy-free treatment in patients with T790M acquired resistance, and is a potentially attractive strategy, especially for Del19-positive tumors.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03370770.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2018-0711DOI Listing
November 2018

Brigatinib versus Crizotinib in ALK-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2018 11 25;379(21):2027-2039. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

From the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora (D.R.C.); Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine (H.R.K.), Samsung Medical Center (M.-J.A.), and Seoul National University Hospital (D.-W.K.), Seoul, National Cancer Center, Goyang (J.-Y.H.), Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam (J.-S.L.), and Chungbuk National University Hospital, Chungbuk National University College of Medicine, Cheongju (K.H.L.) - all in South Korea; National Taiwan University Hospital (J.C.-H.Y.) and the Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University (G.-C.C.), Taipei, and the Division of Chest Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung (G.-C.C.) - all in Taiwan; the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for COPD and Respiratory Epidemiology, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna (M.J.H.); Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong (J.Y.-C.L.); Azienda Ospedaliera S. Giuseppe Moscati, Avellino (C.G.), the Scientific Institute of Romagna for the Study and Treatment of Cancer, Meldola (A.D.), Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS Struttura Operativa Complessa Oncologia Medica A, Aviano (A.B.), Thoracic Medical Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale, Naples (A.M.), and the Medical Oncology Unit, University Hospital of Parma, Parma (M.T.) - all in Italy; Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de A Coruña, Coruña (R.G.C.), and Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona (E.F.) - both in Spain; the Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Department of Internal Medicine-Oncology, Pius-Hospital Medical Campus, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany (F.G.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and Division of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester (R.C.), and Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (S.G.) and Royal Marsden Hospital and the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London (S.P.), London - all in the United Kingdom; Virginia Cancer Specialists Research Institute and US Oncology Research, The Woodlands, TX (A.S.); Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT (S.N.G.); and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA (N.G., J.H., D.K.).

Background: Brigatinib, a next-generation anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, has robust efficacy in patients with ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is refractory to crizotinib. The efficacy of brigatinib, as compared with crizotinib, in patients with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC who have not previously received an ALK inhibitor is unclear.

Methods: In an open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, patients with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC who had not previously received ALK inhibitors to receive brigatinib at a dose of 180 mg once daily (with a 7-day lead-in period at 90 mg) or crizotinib at a dose of 250 mg twice daily. The primary end point was progression-free survival as assessed by blinded independent central review. Secondary end points included the objective response rate and intracranial response. The first interim analysis was planned when approximately 50% of 198 expected events of disease progression or death had occurred.

Results: A total of 275 patients underwent randomization; 137 were assigned to brigatinib and 138 to crizotinib. At the first interim analysis (99 events), the median follow-up was 11.0 months in the brigatinib group and 9.3 months in the crizotinib group. The rate of progression-free survival was higher with brigatinib than with crizotinib (estimated 12-month progression-free survival, 67% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 56 to 75] vs. 43% [95% CI, 32 to 53]; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.49 [95% CI, 0.33 to 0.74]; P<0.001 by the log-rank test). The confirmed objective response rate was 71% (95% CI, 62 to 78) with brigatinib and 60% (95% CI, 51 to 68) with crizotinib; the confirmed rate of intracranial response among patients with measurable lesions was 78% (95% CI, 52 to 94) and 29% (95% CI, 11 to 52), respectively. No new safety concerns were noted.

Conclusions: Among patients with ALK-positive NSCLC who had not previously received an ALK inhibitor, progression-free survival was significantly longer among patients who received brigatinib than among those who received crizotinib. (Funded by Ariad Pharmaceuticals; ALTA-1L ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02737501 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1810171DOI Listing
November 2018

First-Line Atezolizumab plus Chemotherapy in Extensive-Stage Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2018 12 25;379(23):2220-2229. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

From Vanderbilt University Medical Center (L. Horn) and Sarah Cannon Research Institute-Tennessee Oncology (M.L.J.), Nashville; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (A.S.M.); Mazowieckie Centrum Leczenia Chorób Płuc i Gruźlicy, Otwock (A. Szczęsna), and Centrum Onkologii-Instytut im. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie w Warszawie, Warsaw (M.K.) - both in Poland; Thomayerova Nemocnice, Pneumologická Klinika 1.LF UK, Prague, Czech Republic (L. Havel); the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (M.J.H.) and the 2nd Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (F.H.), Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for COPD and Respiratory Epidemiology-Sozialmedizinisches Zentrum Baumgartner Höhe, Otto-Wagner-Spital, Vienna; Semmelweis Egyetem ÁOK, Pulmonológiai Klinika, Budapest, Hungary (G.L.); the Cancer Institute Hospital, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo (M.N.); LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Grosshansdorf, Germany (M.R.); State Key Laboratory of South China, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (T.M.), and F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Shanghai (J.L.) - both in China; Genentech, South San Francisco, CA (S.L., D.S.S., B.D., A.L.-C., F.K., W.L., A. Sandler); and Georgetown University, Washington DC (S.V.L.).

Background: Enhancing tumor-specific T-cell immunity by inhibiting programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-programmed death 1 (PD-1) signaling has shown promise in the treatment of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer. Combining checkpoint inhibition with cytotoxic chemotherapy may have a synergistic effect and improve efficacy.

Methods: We conducted this double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial to evaluate atezolizumab plus carboplatin and etoposide in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer who had not previously received treatment. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive carboplatin and etoposide with either atezolizumab or placebo for four 21-day cycles (induction phase), followed by a maintenance phase during which they received either atezolizumab or placebo (according to the previous random assignment) until they had unacceptable toxic effects, disease progression according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1, or no additional clinical benefit. The two primary end points were investigator-assessed progression-free survival and overall survival in the intention-to-treat population.

Results: A total of 201 patients were randomly assigned to the atezolizumab group, and 202 patients to the placebo group. At a median follow-up of 13.9 months, the median overall survival was 12.3 months in the atezolizumab group and 10.3 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio for death, 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 0.91; P=0.007). The median progression-free survival was 5.2 months and 4.3 months, respectively (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.96; P=0.02). The safety profile of atezolizumab plus carboplatin and etoposide was consistent with the previously reported safety profile of the individual agents, with no new findings observed.

Conclusions: The addition of atezolizumab to chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer resulted in significantly longer overall survival and progression-free survival than chemotherapy alone. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; IMpower133 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02763579 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1809064DOI Listing
December 2018

Exploratory Analysis of Brigatinib Activity in Patients With Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer and Brain Metastases in Two Clinical Trials.

J Clin Oncol 2018 09 16;36(26):2693-2701. Epub 2018 May 16.

D. Ross Camidge, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; Dong-Wan Kim, Seoul National University Hospital; Myung-Ju Ahn, Samsung Medical Center; Dae Ho Lee, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea; Marcello Tiseo, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy; Corey J. Langer, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Alice T. Shaw, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; William Reichmann, Jeff Haney, Tim Clackson, and David Kerstein, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA; Rudolf M. Huber, University Hospital of Munich, Munich, Germany; Maximilian J. Hochmair, Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna, Austria; Lyudmila A. Bazhenova and Kathryn A. Gold, University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla; Sai-Hong Ignatius Ou, University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine, CA; Howard L. West, Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle, WA; and Scott N. Gettinger, Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT.

Purpose In patients with crizotinib-treated, anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene ( ALK)-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (ALK-positive NSCLC), initial disease progression often occurs in the CNS. We evaluated brigatinib, a next-generation ALK inhibitor, in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC with brain metastases. Patients and Methods Patients with ALK-positive NSCLC received brigatinib (90 to 240 mg total daily) in a phase I/II trial (phI/II; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01449461) and in the subsequent randomized phase II trial ALTA (ALK in Lung Cancer Trial of AP26113; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02094573; patients in arm A received 90 mg once daily; patients in arm B received 180 mg once daily with 7-day lead-in at 90 mg). Primary end points (systemic objective response rates [ORRs]) were previously reported. Independent review committees assessed intracranial efficacy in patients with baseline brain metastases. Results Most patients with ALK-positive NSCLC had baseline brain metastases (50 of 79 [63%], phI/II; 80 of 112 [71%] and 73 of 110 [66%] in ALTA arms A and B, respectively), many of whom had no prior brain radiotherapy (23 of 50 [46%], phI/II; 32 of 80 [40%], ALTA arm A; 30 of 73 [41%], arm B). All patients, except four in phI/II, had received crizotinib. Among patients with measurable (≥ 10 mm) brain metastases, confirmed intracranial ORR was 53% (eight of 15; 95% CI, 27% to 79%) in phI/II, 46% (12 of 26; 95% CI, 27% to 67%) in ALTA arm A, and 67% (12 of 18; 95% CI, 41% to 87%) in arm B. Intracranial ORRs were similar in subsets without prior radiation or progression postradiation. Among patients with any baseline brain metastases, median intracranial progression-free survival (iPFS) was 14.6 months (95% CI, 12.7 to 36.8 months), phI/II; 15.6 months (95% CI, 9.0 to 18.3 months), ALTA arm A; 18.4 months (95% CI, 12.8 months to not reached), ALTA arm B. Conclusion Brigatinib yielded substantial intracranial responses and durable iPFS in ALK-positive, crizotinib-treated NSCLC, with highest iPFS in patients receiving 180 mg once daily (with lead-in).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2017.77.5841DOI Listing
September 2018

Pembrolizumab plus Chemotherapy in Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2018 May 16;378(22):2078-2092. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

From NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York (L.G.); Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Insular Materno-Infantil de Gran Canaria, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (D.R.-A.), Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo (E.E.), Vall d'Hebron University, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona (E.F.), and Fundación Jiménez Díaz (M.D.) and Hospital Universitario Quirón Madrid (B.R.-V.), Madrid - all in Spain; Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit (S.G.); Integrated Health and Social Services Centres, Montérégie Centre, Greenfield Park, QC (F.D.A.), and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto (S.Y.-S.C.) - both in Canada; Southern Medical Day Care Centre, Wollongong, NSW (P.C.), Epworth Healthcare, Richmond, VIC (R.R.J.), Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney, Sydney (R.H.), and Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Camperdown, NSW (M.B.) - all in Australia; Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna (M.J.H.); Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD (S.F.P.); Thoraxklinik, Heidelberg (H.G.B.), and LungenClinic, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Grosshansdorf (M.R.) - both in Germany; Davidoff Cancer Center, Tel Aviv University, Petah Tikva, Israel (N.P.); Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa (F.G.), University of Turin, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria San Luigi, Orbassano (S.N.), and Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan (M.C.G.) - all in Italy; David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles (E.B.G.); Kansai Medical University Hospital, Osaka, Japan (T.K.); Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL (J.E.G.); and Merck, Kenilworth, NJ (J.V., Z.W., J.Y., H.R., M.C.P.).

Background: First-line therapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that lacks targetable mutations is platinum-based chemotherapy. Among patients with a tumor proportion score for programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) of 50% or greater, pembrolizumab has replaced cytotoxic chemotherapy as the first-line treatment of choice. The addition of pembrolizumab to chemotherapy resulted in significantly higher rates of response and longer progression-free survival than chemotherapy alone in a phase 2 trial.

Methods: In this double-blind, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned (in a 2:1 ratio) 616 patients with metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC without sensitizing EGFR or ALK mutations who had received no previous treatment for metastatic disease to receive pemetrexed and a platinum-based drug plus either 200 mg of pembrolizumab or placebo every 3 weeks for 4 cycles, followed by pembrolizumab or placebo for up to a total of 35 cycles plus pemetrexed maintenance therapy. Crossover to pembrolizumab monotherapy was permitted among the patients in the placebo-combination group who had verified disease progression. The primary end points were overall survival and progression-free survival, as assessed by blinded, independent central radiologic review.

Results: After a median follow-up of 10.5 months, the estimated rate of overall survival at 12 months was 69.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 64.1 to 73.8) in the pembrolizumab-combination group versus 49.4% (95% CI, 42.1 to 56.2) in the placebo-combination group (hazard ratio for death, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.64; P<0.001). Improvement in overall survival was seen across all PD-L1 categories that were evaluated. Median progression-free survival was 8.8 months (95% CI, 7.6 to 9.2) in the pembrolizumab-combination group and 4.9 months (95% CI, 4.7 to 5.5) in the placebo-combination group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.64; P<0.001). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher occurred in 67.2% of the patients in the pembrolizumab-combination group and in 65.8% of those in the placebo-combination group.

Conclusions: In patients with previously untreated metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC without EGFR or ALK mutations, the addition of pembrolizumab to standard chemotherapy of pemetrexed and a platinum-based drug resulted in significantly longer overall survival and progression-free survival than chemotherapy alone. (Funded by Merck; KEYNOTE-189 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02578680 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1801005DOI Listing
May 2018
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