Publications by authors named "Neal Ready"

87 Publications

Nivolumab and Ipilimumab as Maintenance Therapy in Extensive-Disease Small-Cell Lung Cancer: CheckMate 451.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar 8:JCO2002212. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

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

Purpose: In extensive-disease small-cell lung cancer (ED-SCLC), response rates to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy are robust, but responses lack durability. CheckMate 451, a double-blind phase III trial, evaluated nivolumab plus ipilimumab and nivolumab monotherapy as maintenance therapy following first-line chemotherapy for ED-SCLC.

Methods: Patients with ED-SCLC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1, and no progression after ≤ 4 cycles of first-line chemotherapy were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to nivolumab 1 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg once every 3 weeks for 12 weeks followed by nivolumab 240 mg once every 2 weeks, nivolumab 240 mg once every 2 weeks, or placebo for ≤ 2 years or until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Primary end point was overall survival (OS) with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus placebo. Secondary end points were hierarchically tested.

Results: Overall, 834 patients were randomly assigned. The minimum follow-up was 8.9 months. OS was not significantly prolonged with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus placebo (hazard ratio [HR], 0.92; 95% CI, 0.75 to 1.12; = .37; median, 9.2 9.6 months). The HR for OS with nivolumab versus placebo was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.69 to 1.02); the median OS for nivolumab was 10.4 months. Progression-free survival HRs versus placebo were 0.72 for nivolumab plus ipilimumab (95% CI, 0.60 to 0.87) and 0.67 for nivolumab (95% CI, 0.56 to 0.81). A trend toward OS benefit with nivolumab plus ipilimumab was observed in patients with tumor mutational burden ≥ 13 mutations per megabase. Rates of grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events were nivolumab plus ipilimumab (52.2%), nivolumab (11.5%), and placebo (8.4%).

Conclusion: Maintenance therapy with nivolumab plus ipilimumab did not prolong OS for patients with ED-SCLC who did not progress on first-line chemotherapy. There were no new safety signals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02212DOI Listing
March 2021

A Phase 1-2 Study of Rovalpituzumab Tesirine in Combination With Nivolumab Plus or Minus Ipilimumab in Patients With Previously Treated Extensive-Stage SCLC.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 Feb 27. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; Espace Technologique, Paris-Saclay University, Saint-Aubin, France.

Introduction: This open-label, phase 1-2 study evaluated the safety and efficacy of rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T), an antibody-drug conjugate targeting DLL3, plus immune checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab plus or minus ipilimumab in previously treated extensive-stage SCLC (ES SCLC).

Methods: Patients with histologically or cytologically confirmed, previously treated (two or more lines of therapy) ES SCLC were enrolled into two cohorts. Cohort 1 received 0.3 mg/kg Rova-T (once every 6 wk for two cycles) plus 360 mg nivolumab (two 3-wk cycles beginning on week 4). Cohort 2 received the same dosage of Rova-T as cohort 1 plus 1 mg/kg nivolumab (four 3-wk cycles) and 1 mg/kg ipilimumab (beginning week 4). Both cohorts received 480 mg nivolumab every 4 weeks starting at week 10. Key objectives were to evaluate safety and tolerability and efficacy (per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1). The response-related results are based on centrally read data.

Results: A total of 42 patients received therapy: cohort 1, n = 30; cohort 2, n = 12. Overall, 43% received two or more previous lines of therapy. All patients experienced one or more treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE); 41 patients reported AEs considered related to the study drug by the investigator. The most frequent TEAE was pleural effusion (n = 20, 48%); most common grade greater than or equal to 3 was anemia (n = 9, 21%). Three grade 5 TEAEs considered related to the study drug were reported (cohort 1): pneumonitis (n = 2), acute kidney injury (n = 1). The objective response rate was 30% (12 of 40): cohort 1, 27.6% (8 of 29); cohort 2, 36.4% (4 of 11); all partial responses.

Conclusions: Despite encouraging antitumor activity in previously treated ES SCLC, combination therapy with Rova-T and nivolumab plus or minus ipilimumab was not well tolerated at the dose levels and administration schedules evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.02.022DOI Listing
February 2021

Synergy between early-incorporation immunotherapy and extracranial radiotherapy in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Jan;10(1):261-273

Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Background: Combining radiotherapy (RT) and immunotherapy (IT) may enhance outcomes for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC). However, data on the immunomodulatory effects of extracranial RT remains limited. This retrospective database analysis examined real-world practice patterns, predictors of survival, and comparative effectiveness of extracranial radioimmunotherapy (RT + IT) versus early-incorporation immunotherapy (eIT) in patients with mNSCLC.

Methods: Patients diagnosed with mNSCLC between 2004-2016 treated with eIT or RT + IT were identified in the National Cancer Database. Practice patterns were assessed using Cochrane-Armitrage trend test. Cox proportional hazards and Kaplan-Meier method were used to analyze overall survival (OS). Propensity score matching was performed to account for baseline imbalances. Biologically effective doses (BED) were stratified based on the median (39 Gy). Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) was defined as above median BED in ≤5 fractions.

Results: eIT utilization increased from 0.3% in 2010 to 13.2% in 2016 (P<0.0001). Rates of RT + eIT increased from 38.8% in 2010 to 49.1% in 2016 among those who received eIT (P<0.0001). Compared to eIT alone, RT + eIT demonstrated worse median OS (11.2 13.2 months) while SBRT + eIT demonstrated improved median OS (25 13.2 months) (P<0.0001). There were no significant differences in OS based on sequencing of eIT relative to RT (log-rank P=0.4415) or irradiated site (log-rank P=0.1606). On multivariate analysis, factors associated with improved OS included chemotherapy (HR 0.86, P=0.0058), treatment at academic facilities (HR 0.83, P<0.0001), and SBRT (HR 0.60, P=0.0009); after propensity-score multivariate analysis, SBRT alone showed improved OS (HR 0.28, P<0.0001).

Conclusions: Utilization of RT + eIT in mNSCLC is increasing. SBRT + eIT was associated with improved OS on propensity-score matched analysis. There were no significant differences in OS based on RT + eIT sequencing or site irradiated. Whether these observations reflect patient selection or possible immunomodulatory benefits of RT is unclear and warrants further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-20-537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867754PMC
January 2021

Targeting Amplification with Crizotinib in a Case of Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma.

Cancer Invest 2021 Mar 15;39(3):235-239. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Comprehensive molecular testing of individual tumors has led to the identification of novel molecularly defined cancer therapies and treatment indications. Given low frequencies of many molecular alterations, efficacy of therapies used to target them are often undefined, especially in the context of rare malignancies. Here we describe the first reported case of amplification in sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC), a rare cancer with a poor prognosis. The patient was treated with crizotinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets c-MET, and experienced a complete response. Our report demonstrates the potential of employing precision oncology approaches in SNUC and other rare cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07357907.2021.1884695DOI Listing
March 2021

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

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

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD.

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

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

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

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

Phase II Study of Arginine Deprivation Therapy With Pegargiminase in Patients With Relapsed Sensitive or Refractory Small-cell Lung Cancer.

Clin Lung Cancer 2020 11 30;21(6):527-533. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Department of Medical Oncology, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom; Centre for Molecular Oncology, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background: Pre-clinical studies indicated that arginine-deprivation therapy using pegylated arginine deiminase (pegargiminase, ADI-PEG 20) may be effective in patients with argininosuccinate synthetase 1 (ASS1)-deficient small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Patients And Methods: Patients were enrolled into either a 'sensitive' disease cohort (≥ 90 days response to first-line chemotherapy) or a 'refractory' disease cohort (progression while on chemotherapy or < 90 days afterwards or ≥ third-line treatment). Patients received weekly intramuscular pegargiminase, 320 IU/m (36.8 mg/m), until unacceptable toxicity or disease progression. The primary endpoint was tumor response assessed by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) 1.1 with secondary endpoints including tolerability, pharmacodynamics, and immunogenicity.

Results: Between January 2011 and January 2014, 22 patients were enrolled: 9 in the sensitive disease cohort and 13 in the refractory disease cohort. At a pre-planned interim analysis, the best overall response observed was stable disease in 2 patients in each cohort (18.2%). Owing to the lack of response and slow accrual in the sensitive disease cohort, the study was terminated early. Pegargiminase treatment was well-tolerated with no unexpected adverse events or discontinuations.

Conclusion: Although pegargiminase monotherapy in SCLC failed to meet its primary endpoint of RECIST-confirmed responses, more recent molecular stratification, including MYC status, may provide new opportunities moving forward.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2020.07.012DOI Listing
November 2020

Keynote 42: Pembrolizumab, PD-L1, and where to draw the line.

Ann Transl Med 2020 Apr;8(7):517

Division of Medical Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm.2020.01.65DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7210198PMC
April 2020

New Approaches to SCLC Therapy: From the Laboratory to the Clinic.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 04 1;15(4):520-540. Epub 2020 Feb 1.

Huntsman Cancer Institute and University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. Electronic address:

The outcomes of patients with SCLC have not yet been substantially impacted by the revolution in precision oncology, primarily owing to a paucity of genetic alterations in actionable driver oncogenes. Nevertheless, systemic therapies that include immunotherapy are beginning to show promise in the clinic. Although, these results are encouraging, many patients do not respond to, or rapidly recur after, current regimens, necessitating alternative or complementary therapeutic strategies. In this review, we discuss ongoing investigations into the pathobiology of this recalcitrant cancer and the therapeutic vulnerabilities that are exposed by the disease state. Included within this discussion, is a snapshot of the current biomarker and clinical trial landscapes for SCLC. Finally, we identify key knowledge gaps that should be addressed to advance the field in pursuit of reduced SCLC mortality. This review largely summarizes work presented at the Third Biennial International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer SCLC Meeting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.01.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7263769PMC
April 2020

The immunotherapeutic landscape in non-small cell lung cancer and its surgical horizons.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 04 10;159(4):1616-1623. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC.

Lung cancer continues to be a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Despite tremendous advances in surgical technique, chemotherapy regimens, radiation, and targeted therapies, survival is <50% at 5 years. Immunotherapy, specifically immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), demonstrates promise as a solution to this clinical problem. Several agents have been Food and Drug Administration-approved for locally advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Further studies are now exploring the use of these agents in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. Although ICIs have demonstrated meaningful efficacy in NSCLC and other advanced malignancies, they are not without adverse toxicities. Furthermore, there are minimal data on their use in the perioperative period. Here we discuss the current domain of ICIs and their surgical implications in NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.08.138DOI Listing
April 2020

Definitive Radiotherapy for Inoperable Stage IIB Non-small-cell Lung Cancer: Patterns of Care and Comparative Effectiveness.

Clin Lung Cancer 2020 05 19;21(3):238-246. Epub 2019 Oct 19.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Electronic address:

Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze practice patterns and perform comparative effectiveness of definitive radiotherapy techniques for inoperable stage IIB (American Joint Committee on Cancer eighth edition) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Materials And Methods: Adults in the National Cancer Database diagnosed with T3N0M0 or T1-2N1M0 NCSLC between 2004 and 2015 who received definitive radiotherapy were identified. Cases were divided as stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), hypofractionated radiotherapy (HFRT), or conventionally fractionated radiotherapy (CFRT) and stratified by systemic therapy (ST). Cox proportional hazards models evaluated the effect of covariates on overall survival (OS). Subgroup analysis by tumor size, chest wall invasion, multifocality, and ST use was performed with Kaplan-Meier estimates of OS.

Results: A total of 10,081 subjects met inclusion criteria: 4401 T3N0M0 (66.5% CFRT, 11.0% HFRT, and 22.5% SBRT) and 5680 T1-2N1M0 (92.5% CFRT and 7.5% HFRT). For T3N0M0 NSCLC, SBRT utilization increased from 3.7% in 2006% to 35.4% in 2015. Subjects treated with SBRT were more likely to have smaller tumors, multifocal tumors, or adenocarcinoma histology. SBRT resulted in similar or superior OS compared with CFRT for tumors > 5 cm, tumors invading the chest wall, or multifocal tumors. SBRT was significantly associated with improved OS on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 0.715; P < .001). For T1-2N1M0 NSCLC, patients treated with HFRT were significantly older and less likely to receive ST; nevertheless, there was no difference in OS between HFRT and CFRT on multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: CFRT + ST is utilized most frequently to treat stage IIB NSCLC in the United States when surgery is not performed, though it is decreasing. SBRT utilization for T3N0M0 NSCLC is increasing and was associated with improved OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2019.10.005DOI Listing
May 2020

Nivolumab Monotherapy and Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer: Results From the CheckMate 032 Randomized Cohort.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 03 17;15(3):426-435. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Sarah Cannon Research Institute/Tennessee Oncology Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee.

Introduction: Nivolumab monotherapy is approved in the United States for third-line or later metastatic small cell lung cancer based on pooled data from nonrandomized and randomized cohorts of the multicenter, open-label, phase 1/2 trial of nivolumab ± ipilimumab (CheckMate 032; NCT01928394). We report updated results, including long-term overall survival (OS), from the randomized cohort.

Methods: Patients with small cell lung cancer and disease progression after one to two prior chemotherapy regimens were randomized 3:2 to nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks or nivolumab 1 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for four cycles followed by nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks. Patients were stratified by number of prior chemotherapy regimens and treated until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) by blinded independent central review.

Results: Overall, 147 patients received nivolumab and 96 nivolumab plus ipilimumab. Minimum follow-up for ORR/progression-free survival/safety was 11.9 months (nivolumab) and 11.2 months (nivolumab plus ipilimumab). ORR increased with nivolumab plus ipilimumab (21.9% versus 11.6% with nivolumab; odds ratio: 2.12; 95% confidence interval: 1.06-4.26; p = 0.03). For long-term OS, minimum follow-up was 29.0 months (nivolumab) versus 28.4 months (nivolumab plus ipilimumab); median (95% confidence interval) OS was 5.7 (3.8-7.6) versus 4.7 months (3.1-8.3). Twenty-four-month OS rates were 17.9% (nivolumab) and 16.9% (nivolumab plus ipilimumab). Grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse event rates were 12.9% (nivolumab) versus 37.5% (nivolumab plus ipilimumab), and treatment-related deaths were n =1 versus n = 3, respectively.

Conclusions: Whereas ORR (primary endpoint) was higher with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus nivolumab, OS was similar between groups. In each group, OS remained encouraging with long-term follow-up. Toxicities were more common with combination therapy versus nivolumab monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.10.004DOI Listing
March 2020

Efficacy and Safety of Rovalpituzumab Tesirine in Third-Line and Beyond Patients with DLL3-Expressing, Relapsed/Refractory Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Results From the Phase II TRINITY Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 12 10;25(23):6958-6966. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Purpose: Although extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is highly responsive to first-line therapy, virtually all patients develop resistance with short survival. Rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) is an antibody-drug conjugate targeting delta-like 3 protein (DLL3). This open-label, single-arm, phase II study (TRINITY) assessed safety and efficacy of Rova-T in patients with DLL3-expressing SCLC in the third-line and beyond (3L+) setting.

Patients And Methods: Patients with DLL3-expressing SCLC (determined by mouse antibody immunohistochemistry [IHC] assay), and ≥2 prior regimens, received 0.3 mg/kg Rova-T once every 6 weeks for two cycles. During study, a rabbit antibody IHC assay was developed and used for the final analysis, with DLL3-positive and DLL3-high defined as ≥25% and ≥75% of tumor cells positive for DLL3, respectively. The primary endpoints were objective response rate (ORR) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Among 339 patients enrolled, 261 (77%) had two prior lines of therapy and 78 (23%) had ≥3. DLL3-high and DLL3-positive tumors by rabbit IHC were seen in 238 (70%) and 287 (85%) patients, respectively. The remaining 52 (15%) were DLL3-negative only by rabbit IHC or had missing results. ORR was 12.4%, 14.3%, and 13.2% in all, DLL3-high, and DLL3-positive patients, respectively. Median OS was 5.6 months in all patients and 5.7 months in DLL3-high patients. The most common adverse events (AE) were fatigue, photosensitivity reaction, and pleural effusion. Grade 3-5 AEs were seen in 213 (63%) patients.

Conclusions: Rova-T is the first targeted agent in SCLC to use DLL3, a novel biomarker. However, results demonstrate modest clinical activity in 3L+ SCLC, with associated toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-1133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7105795PMC
December 2019

A phase I study of AT-101, a BH3 mimetic, in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in solid tumors.

Invest New Drugs 2020 06 6;38(3):855-865. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Department of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, 08903, USA.

Background AT-101 is a BH3 mimetic that inhibits the heterodimerization of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bcl-W, and Mcl-1 with pro-apoptotic proteins, thereby lowering the threshold for apoptosis. This phase I trial investigated the MTD of AT-101 in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in patients with advanced solid tumors. Methods Patients were treated with AT-101 (40 mg) every 12 h on days 1, 2 and 3 of each cycle combined with varying dose levels (DL) of paclitaxel and carboplatin [DL1: paclitaxel (150 mg/m) and carboplatin (AUC 5) on day 1 of each cycle; DL2: paclitaxel (175 mg/m) and carboplatin (AUC 6) on day 1 of each cycle]. Secondary objectives included characterizing toxicity, efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of the combination. Results Twenty-four patients were treated across two DLs with a planned expansion cohort. The most common tumor type was prostate (N = 11). Two patients experienced DLTs: grade 3 abdominal pain at DL1 and grade 3 ALT increase at DL2; however, the MTD was not determined. Moderate hematologic toxicity was observed. One CR was seen in a patient with esophageal cancer and 4 patients achieved PRs (1 NSCLC, 3 prostate). PD studies did not yield statistically significant decreases in Bcl-2 and caspase 3 protein levels, or increased apoptotic activity induced by AT-101. Conclusion The combination of AT-101 at 40 mg every 12 h on days 1, 2 and 3 combined with paclitaxel and carboplatin was safe and tolerable. Based on the modest clinical efficacy seen in this trial, this combination will not be further investigated. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT00891072, CTEP#: 8016.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-019-00807-2DOI Listing
June 2020

Therapeutic outcomes in non-small cell lung cancer with mutations: a single institution, retrospective cohort study.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2019 Jun;8(3):258-267

Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Data describing therapeutic outcomes in patients with non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) with mutations remains limited.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 31 patients with metastatic NSCLC treated at Duke University Hospital who had been identified by next-generation sequencing methods to bear a mutation in their tumor in order to evaluate clinical response to immunotherapy and chemotherapy.

Results: Sixty-five percent of patients identified in this cohort were current or former smokers. Fourteen (45.2%) of patients had a V600E mutation and 17 (54.8%) had a non-V600E mutation. Median progression-free survival (PFS) in the 23 patients who received first-line chemotherapy was 6.4 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.3 to 13.0]. Overall survival (OS) in patients who received first-line chemotherapy showed a median survival of 18 months (95% CI, 7.4 to 28.6). OS comparing patients who had never received immunotherapy at any point was 18.4 months (95% CI, 4.1 to NE) compared to 19.0 months (95% CI, 9.9 to 28.6) in those who had received immunotherapy. We did not find a statistically significant difference in OS in patients with V600E, amplification, or non-V600E mutations. There was also no difference in OS in patients treated with targeted BRAF inhibitors compared to those who were not treated with targeted BRAF inhibitors.

Conclusions: We describe therapeutic outcomes for patients with metastatic NSCLC with mutations treated with either cytotoxic chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Although the sample size is small, the survival curves do not suggest improved clinical activity in this population when treated with immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2019.04.03DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6626861PMC
June 2019

First-Line Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (CheckMate 568): Outcomes by Programmed Death Ligand 1 and Tumor Mutational Burden as Biomarkers.

J Clin Oncol 2019 04 20;37(12):992-1000. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

21 Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Purpose: CheckMate 568 is an open-label phase II trial that evaluated the efficacy and safety of nivolumab plus low-dose ipilimumab as first-line treatment of advanced/metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We assessed the association of efficacy with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and tumor mutational burden (TMB).

Patients And Methods: Two hundred eighty-eight patients with previously untreated, recurrent stage IIIB/IV NSCLC received nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 6 weeks. The primary end point was objective response rate (ORR) in patients with 1% or more and less than 1% tumor PD-L1 expression. Efficacy on the basis of TMB (FoundationOne CDx assay) was a secondary end point.

Results: Of treated patients with tumor available for testing, 252 patients (88%) of 288 were evaluable for PD-L1 expression and 98 patients (82%) of 120 for TMB. ORR was 30% overall and 41% and 15% in patients with 1% or greater and less than 1% tumor PD-L1 expression, respectively. ORR increased with higher TMB, plateauing at 10 or more mutations/megabase (mut/Mb). Regardless of PD-L1 expression, ORRs were higher in patients with TMB of 10 or more mut/Mb (n = 48: PD-L1, ≥ 1%, 48%; PD-L1, < 1%, 47%) versus TMB of fewer than 10 mut/Mb (n = 50: PD-L1, ≥ 1%, 18%; PD-L1, < 1%, 5%), and progression-free survival was longer in patients with TMB of 10 or more mut/Mb versus TMB of fewer than 10 mut/Mb (median, 7.1 2.6 months). Grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 29% of patients.

Conclusion: Nivolumab plus low-dose ipilimumab was effective and tolerable as a first-line treatment of advanced/metastatic NSCLC. TMB of 10 or more mut/Mb was associated with improved response and prolonged progression-free survival in both tumor PD-L1 expression 1% or greater and less than 1% subgroups and was thus identified as a potentially relevant cutoff in the assessment of TMB as a biomarker for first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.01042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494267PMC
April 2019

Durvalumab for recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Results from a single-arm, phase II study in patients with ≥25% tumour cell PD-L1 expression who have progressed on platinum-based chemotherapy.

Eur J Cancer 2019 01 18;107:142-152. Epub 2018 Dec 18.

Medical Oncology Department, Catalan Institute of Oncology, University of Barcelona, IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M HNSCC) progressing on platinum-based chemotherapy have poor prognoses and limited therapeutic options. Programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand 1 (PD-L1) are frequently upregulated in HNSCC. The international, multi-institutional, single-arm, phase II HAWK study (NCT02207530) evaluated durvalumab monotherapy, an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, in PD-L1-high patients with platinum-refractory R/M HNSCC.

Patients And Methods: Immunotherapy-naïve patients with confirmed PD-L1-high tumour cell expression (defined as patients with ≥25% of tumour cells expressing PD-L1 [TC ≥ 25%] using the VENTANA PD-L1 [SP263] Assay) received durvalumab 10 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks for up to 12 months. The primary end-point was objective response rate; secondary end-points included progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Among evaluable patients (n = 111), objective response rate was 16.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.9-24.4); 29.4% (95% CI, 15.1-47.5) for human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive patients and 10.9% (95% CI, 4.5-21.3) for HPV-negative patients. Median PFS and OS for treated patients (n = 112) was 2.1 months (95% CI, 1.9-3.7) and 7.1 months (95% CI, 4.9-9.9); PFS and OS at 12 months were 14.6% (95% CI, 8.5-22.1) and 33.6% (95% CI, 24.8-42.7). Treatment-related adverse events were 57.1% (any grade) and 8.0% (grade ≥3); none led to death. At data cut-off, 24.1% of patients remained on treatment or in follow-up.

Conclusion: Durvalumab demonstrated antitumour activity with acceptable safety in PD-L1-high patients with R/M HNSCC, supporting its ongoing evaluation in phase III trials in first- and second-line settings. In an ad hoc analysis, HPV-positive patients had a numerically higher response rate and survival than HPV-negative patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.11.015DOI Listing
January 2019

Role of induction chemotherapy in sinonasal malignancies: a systematic review.

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2019 02 9;9(2):212-219. Epub 2018 Nov 9.

Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, Department of Surgery, Duke University, Durham, NC.

Background: Cancers of the paranasal sinuses are rare tumors that tend to be aggressive and usually are diagnosed at an advanced stage. Despite being rare, these tumors include a wide spectrum of histological subtypes with different biological behaviors. Choosing the optimal treatment modalities and analyzing the different oncological outcomes is therefore challenging. This study aims to evaluate the role of induction chemotherapy prior to definitive local therapy for sinonasal malignancies.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines was conducted. With the assistance of a medical librarian, data sources including MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane library, EMBASE, NCBI Bookshelf, National Guideline Clearinghouse, and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched using a customized search strategy that yielded 1758 articles. Inclusion criteria used were as follows: (1) the study has a patient population with 3 or more patients with previously untreated sinonasal malignancies; (2) patients underwent induction chemotherapy prior to definitive local therapy; (3) pretreatment staging information was documented; (4) overall survival was reported by histology type either in table or Kaplan-Meier format. Nine studies with 220 patients ultimately met inclusion criteria and were analyzed in groups based on tumor histology.

Results: For squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the 5-year overall survival was 51%. For neuroendocrine tumors, the 5-year overall survival was 78%. Eighteen percent (18%) of patients with pretreatment orbital involvement ultimately underwent orbital exenteration.

Conclusion: Induction chemotherapy in the management of sinonasal malignancies has similar overall survival outcomes as other standard treatment modalities and can be offered as an option to patients as part of multimodality therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alr.22229DOI Listing
February 2019

Safety and Efficacy of Durvalumab With or Without Tremelimumab in Patients With PD-L1-Low/Negative Recurrent or Metastatic HNSCC: The Phase 2 CONDOR Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2019 02;5(2):195-203

Clinical Oncology, Cancer Center Centre Léon Bérard, University of Lyon, Lyon, France.

Importance: Dual blockade of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) may overcome immune checkpoint inhibition. It is unknown whether dual blockade can potentiate antitumor activity without compromising safety in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M HNSCC) and low or no PD-L1 tumor cell expression.

Objective: To assess safety and objective response rate of durvalumab combined with tremelimumab.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The CONDOR study was a phase 2, randomized, open-label study of Durvalumab, Tremelimumab, and Durvalumab in Combination With Tremelimumab in Patients With R/M HNSCC. Eligibility criteria included PD-L1-low/negative disease that had progressed after 1 platinum-containing regimen in the R/M setting. Patients were randomized (N = 267) from April 15, 2015, to March 16, 2016, at 127 sites in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Interventions: Durvalumab (20 mg/kg every 4 weeks) + tremelimumab (1 mg/kg every 4 weeks) for 4 cycles, followed by durvalumab (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks), or durvalumab (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks) monotherapy, or tremelimumab (10 mg/kg every 4 weeks for 7 doses then every 12 weeks for 2 doses) monotherapy.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Safety and tolerability and efficacy measured by objective response rate.

Results: Among the 267 patients (220 men [82.4%]), median age (range) of patients was 61.0 (23-82) years. Grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 21 patients (15.8%) treated with durvalumab + tremelimumab, 8 (12.3%) treated with durvalumab, and 11 (16.9%) treated with tremelimumab. Grade 3/4 immune-mediated adverse events occurred in 8 patients (6.0%) in the combination arm only. Objective response rate (95% CI) was 7.8% (3.78%-13.79%) in the combination arm (n = 129), 9.2% (3.46%-19.02%) for durvalumab monotherapy (n = 65), and 1.6% (0.04%-8.53%) for tremelimumab monotherapy (n = 63); median overall survival (95% CI) for all patients treated was 7.6 (4.9-10.6), 6.0 (4.0-11.3), and 5.5 (3.9-7.0) months, respectively.

Conclusions And Relevance: In patients with R/M HNSCC and low or no PD-L1 tumor cell expression, all 3 regimens exhibited a manageable toxicity profile. Durvalumab and durvalumab + tremelimumab resulted in clinical benefit, with minimal observed difference between the two. A phase 3 study is under way.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02319044.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.4628DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6439564PMC
February 2019

Third-Line Nivolumab Monotherapy in Recurrent SCLC: CheckMate 032.

J Thorac Oncol 2019 02 10;14(2):237-244. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida.

Introduction: For patients with recurrent SCLC, topotecan remains the only approved second-line treatment, and the outcomes are poor. CheckMate 032 is a phase 1/2, multicenter, open-label study of nivolumab or nivolumab plus ipilimumab in SCLC or other advanced/metastatic solid tumors previously treated with one or more platinum-based chemotherapies. We report results of third- or later-line nivolumab monotherapy treatment in SCLC.

Methods: In this analysis, patients with limited-stage or extensive-stage SCLC and disease progression after two or more chemotherapy regimens received nivolumab monotherapy, 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks, until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was objective response rate. Secondary end points included duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety.

Results: Between December 4, 2013, and November 30, 2016, 109 patients began receiving third- or later-line nivolumab monotherapy. At a median follow-up of 28.3 months (from first dose to database lock), the objective response rate was 11.9% (95% confidence interval: 6.5-19.5) with a median duration of response of 17.9 months (range 3.0-42.1). At 6 months, 17.2% of patients were progression-free. The 12-month and 18-month overall survival rates were 28.3% and 20.0%, respectively. Grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 11.9% of patients. Three patients (2.8%) discontinued because of treatment-related adverse events.

Conclusions: Nivolumab monotherapy provided durable responses and was well tolerated as a third- or later-line treatment for recurrent SCLC. These results suggest that nivolumab monotherapy is an effective third- or later-line treatment for this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2018.10.003DOI Listing
February 2019

Long-term survival follow-up of atezolizumab in combination with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

Eur J Cancer 2018 09 24;101:114-122. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

Carolina BioOncology Institute, 9801 Kincey Ave, Huntersville, NC 28078, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Before the availability of immunotherapy, chemotherapy was standard first-line therapy for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lacking actionable gene alterations. Preclinical evidence suggests chemotherapy is immunomodulatory, supporting chemotherapy/immunotherapy combinations. Atezolizumab, anti-programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) antibody, blocks programmed cell death protein-1 and B7.1 interaction with PD-L1. GP28328 (NCT01633970) assessed atezolizumab with chemotherapy in multiple tumours; we report results for advanced, treatment-naïve NSCLC.

Methods: Patients received atezolizumab plus carboplatin with paclitaxel (Arm C: atezo/cb/pac), pemetrexed (Arm D: atezo/cb/pem, maintenance pemetrexed permitted), or nab-paclitaxel (Arm E: atezo/cb/nab-pac), four-six cycles, then atezolizumab maintenance. Primary end-point was safety; secondary end-points were objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Seventy-six NSCLC patients were enrolled (n = 25, 25 and 26 for Arms C, D and E, respectively). Common treatment-related grade III/IV adverse events were neutropenia (36% atezo/cb/pac, 36% atezo/cb/pem, 42% atezo/cb/nab-pac) and anaemia (16% atezo/cb/pac, 16% atezo/cb/pem, 31% atezo/cb/nab-pac). Confirmed ORRs were 36% atezo/cb/pac, 68% atezo/cb/pem (one complete response [CR]) and 46% atezo/cb/nab-pac (four CRs). Median PFS was 7.1 months, (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.2-8.3), 8.4 months (95% CI: 4.7-11) and 5.7 months (95% CI: 4.4-14.8), respectively. Median OS was 12.9 months (95% CI: 8.8-21.3), 18.9 months (95% CI: 9.9-27.4) and 17.0 months (95% CI: 12.7-not evaluable), respectively.

Conclusion: Atezolizumab with chemotherapy was well tolerated with encouraging efficacy, though the analysis was limited by small numbers. NSCLC chemotherapy combination studies are ongoing. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT01633970.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.06.033DOI Listing
September 2018

Surgical Outcomes After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Ipilimumab for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Ann Thorac Surg 2018 03 16;105(3):924-929. Epub 2017 Dec 16.

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. Electronic address:

Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of using neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus ipilimumab followed by surgery as a treatment strategy for stage II-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer.

Methods: From 2013 to 2017, postoperative data from patients who underwent surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus ipilimumab in the TOP1201 trial, an open label phase II trial (NCT01820754), were prospectively collected. The surgical outcomes from TOP1201 were compared with outcomes in a historical cohort of patients receiving standard preoperative chemotherapy followed by surgery identified from our institution's prospectively collected thoracic surgery database.

Results: In the TOP1201 trial, 13 patients were treated with preoperative chemotherapy and ipilimumab followed by surgery. In the historical cohort, 42 patients received preoperative chemotherapy by a platinum doublet regimen preoperative chemotherapy by a platinum doublet regimen without ipilimumab followed by lobectomy or pneumonectomy. The 30-day mortality in both groups was 0%. The most frequently occurring perioperative complications in the TOP1201 group were prolonged air leak (n = 2, 15%) and urinary tract infection (n = 2, 15%). The most common perioperative complication in the preoperative chemotherapy alone group was atrial fibrillation (n = 6, 14%). One patient (8%) had atrial fibrillation in the TOP1201 group. There was no apparent increased occurrence of adverse surgical outcomes for patients in the TOP1201 group compared with patients receiving standard of care neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone before surgery for stage II-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer.

Conclusions: This report is the first to demonstrate the safety and feasibility of surgical resection after treatment with ipilimumab and chemotherapy in stage II-IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2017.09.030DOI Listing
March 2018

Nivolumab Versus Docetaxel in Previously Treated Patients With Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Two-Year Outcomes From Two Randomized, Open-Label, Phase III Trials (CheckMate 017 and CheckMate 057).

J Clin Oncol 2017 Dec 12;35(35):3924-3933. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Leora Horn, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; David R. Spigel, Sarah Cannon Research Institute/Tennessee Oncology, Nashville, TN; Everett E. Vokes, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Esther Holgado, Hospital De Madrid, Norte Sanchinarro, Madrid; Enriqueta Felip, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona; Luis Paz-Ares, Hospital Universitario Virgen Del Rocio, Seville, Spain; Neal Ready, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Martin Steins, Thoraxklinik-Heidelberg gGmbH, Heidelberg; Martin Kohlhäeufl, Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus, Stuttgart; Martin Reck, LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Grosshansdorf; Wilfried E.E. Eberhardt, University Hospital and Ruhrlandclinic, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany; Elena Poddubskaya, N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russia; Hossein Borghaei, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Adam Pluzanski, Centrum Onkologii-Instytut Im. Marii Sklodowskiej-Curie, Warsaw, Poland; Karen L. Reckamp, City of Hope, Duarte, CA; Marco A. Burgio and Lucio Crinò, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo Per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Meldola, Italy; David Waterhouse, Oncology Hematology Care (OHC)/US Oncology, Cincinnati, OH; Fabrice Barlesi, Aix-Marseille Université, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille, Marseille; Jérôme Fayette, Léon Bérard, Lyon, France; Scott Antonia, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL; Oscar Arrieta, Instituto Nacional De Cancerologia, Mexico City, Mexico; Naiyer Rizvi and Matthew D. Hellmann, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; William J. Geese, Ang Li, Anne Blackwood-Chirchir, and Diane Healey, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ; and Julie Brahmer, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD.

Purpose Nivolumab, a programmed death-1 inhibitor, prolonged overall survival compared with docetaxel in two independent phase III studies in previously treated patients with advanced squamous (CheckMate 017; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01642004) or nonsquamous (CheckMate 057; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01673867) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We report updated results, including a pooled analysis of the two studies. Methods Patients with stage IIIB/IV squamous (N = 272) or nonsquamous (N = 582) NSCLC and disease progression during or after prior platinum-based chemotherapy were randomly assigned 1:1 to nivolumab (3 mg/kg every 2 weeks) or docetaxel (75 mg/m every 3 weeks). Minimum follow-up for survival was 24.2 months. Results Two-year overall survival rates with nivolumab versus docetaxel were 23% (95% CI, 16% to 30%) versus 8% (95% CI, 4% to 13%) in squamous NSCLC and 29% (95% CI, 24% to 34%) versus 16% (95% CI, 12% to 20%) in nonsquamous NSCLC; relative reductions in the risk of death with nivolumab versus docetaxel remained similar to those reported in the primary analyses. Durable responses were observed with nivolumab; 10 (37%) of 27 confirmed responders with squamous NSCLC and 19 (34%) of 56 with nonsquamous NSCLC had ongoing responses after 2 years' minimum follow-up. No patient in either docetaxel group had an ongoing response. In the pooled analysis, the relative reduction in the risk of death with nivolumab versus docetaxel was 28% (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.84), and rates of treatment-related adverse events were lower with nivolumab than with docetaxel (any grade, 68% v 88%; grade 3 to 4, 10% v 55%). Conclusion Nivolumab provides long-term clinical benefit and a favorable tolerability profile compared with docetaxel in previously treated patients with advanced NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2017.74.3062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075826PMC
December 2017

Immune Activation in Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Ipilimumab.

Clin Cancer Res 2017 Dec 26;23(24):7474-7482. Epub 2017 Sep 26.

Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

To determine the immunologic effects of neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus ipilimumab in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. This is a single-arm chemotherapy plus phased ipilimumab phase II study of 24 treatment-naïve patients with stage IB-IIIA NSCLC. Patients received neoadjuvant therapy consisting of 3 cycles of paclitaxel with either cisplatin or carboplatin and ipilimumab included in the last 2 cycles. Chemotherapy alone had little effect on immune parameters in PBMCs. Profound CD28-dependent activation of both CD4 and CD8 cells was observed following ipilimumab. Significant increases in the frequencies of CD4 cells expressing activation markers ICOS, HLA-DR, CTLA-4, and PD-1 were apparent. Likewise, increased frequencies of CD8 cells expressing the same activation markers, with the exception of PD-1, were observed. We also examined 7 resected tumors and found higher frequencies of activated tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes than those observed in PBMCs. Surprisingly, we found 4 cases of preexisting tumor-associated antigens (TAA) responses against survivin, PRAME, or MAGE-A3 present in PBMC at baseline, but neither increased frequencies nor the appearance of newly detectable responses following ipilimumab therapy. Ipilimumab had little effect on the frequencies of circulating regulatory T cells and MDSCs. This study did not meet the primary endpoint of detecting an increase in blood-based TAA T-cell responses after ipilimumab. Collectively, these results highlight the immune activating properties of ipilimumab in early-stage NSCLC. The immune profiling data for ipilimumab alone can contribute to the interpretation of immunologic data from combined immune checkpoint blockade immunotherapies. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5732888PMC
December 2017

First-Line Nivolumab in Stage IV or Recurrent Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2017 06;376(25):2415-2426

From the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus (D.P.C.); LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Grosshansdorf (M.R.), and Thoraxklinik, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg (M.S.) - both in Germany; Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas and Universidad Complutense, Madrid (L.P.-A., J.C.J.), Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona (E.F.), and Hospital Universitario Insular de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas (D.R.-A.) - all in Spain; H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL (B.C.); Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville (L. Horn); Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis, Amsterdam (M.M.H.), and University of Groningen, Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen, Groningen (T.J.N.H.) - both in the Netherlands; Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuta Institute of Oncology and University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Hatieganu, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (T.-E.C.); Baptist Health Lexington, Lexington, KY (F.B.); Duke University, Durham, NC (N.R.); Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown (S.N.), Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia (H.B.), and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cancer Center, Pittsburgh (L.C.V., M.A.S.) - all in Pennsylvania; Juravinski Cancer Centre, Hamilton, ON, Canada (R.J.); Oncology Department, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland (S.P.); Santa Maria Hospital, Terni, Italy (E.M.); Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston, SC (J.M.W.); Department of Thoracic-Head and Neck Medical Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (G.R.B.); Klinika Pneumologie a Hrudní Chirurgie, Nemocnice Na Bulovce, Prague, Czech Republic (L. Havel, J.K.); and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ (H.C., W.J.G., P.B., A.C.C.).

Background: Nivolumab has been associated with longer overall survival than docetaxel among patients with previously treated non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In an open-label phase 3 trial, we compared first-line nivolumab with chemotherapy in patients with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive NSCLC.

Methods: We randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, patients with untreated stage IV or recurrent NSCLC and a PD-L1 tumor-expression level of 1% or more to receive nivolumab (administered intravenously at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight once every 2 weeks) or platinum-based chemotherapy (administered once every 3 weeks for up to six cycles). Patients receiving chemotherapy could cross over to receive nivolumab at the time of disease progression. The primary end point was progression-free survival, as assessed by means of blinded independent central review, among patients with a PD-L1 expression level of 5% or more.

Results: Among the 423 patients with a PD-L1 expression level of 5% or more, the median progression-free survival was 4.2 months with nivolumab versus 5.9 months with chemotherapy (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 1.45; P=0.25), and the median overall survival was 14.4 months versus 13.2 months (hazard ratio for death, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.80 to 1.30). A total of 128 of 212 patients (60%) in the chemotherapy group received nivolumab as subsequent therapy. Treatment-related adverse events of any grade occurred in 71% of the patients who received nivolumab and in 92% of those who received chemotherapy. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 18% of the patients who received nivolumab and in 51% of those who received chemotherapy.

Conclusions: Nivolumab was not associated with significantly longer progression-free survival than chemotherapy among patients with previously untreated stage IV or recurrent NSCLC with a PD-L1 expression level of 5% or more. Overall survival was similar between groups. Nivolumab had a favorable safety profile, as compared with chemotherapy, with no new or unexpected safety signals. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and others; CheckMate 026 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02041533 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1613493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6487310PMC
June 2017

Pooled Analysis of Individual Patient Data on Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy for Stage III Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer in Elderly Patients Compared With Younger Patients Who Participated in US National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group Studies.

J Clin Oncol 2017 Sep 11;35(25):2885-2892. Epub 2017 May 11.

Thomas E. Stinchcombe, Neal E. Ready, and Harvey J. Cohen, Duke University Medical Center; Xiaofei Wang, Alliance Statistics and Data Center, Durham, NC; Ying Zhang, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA; Everett E. Vokes, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL; Joan H. Schiller, Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute, Falls Church, VA; Jeffrey D. Bradley and Ramaswamy Govindan, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO; Karen Kelly, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA; Walter J. Curran Jr, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Steven E. Schild, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ; Benjamin Movsas, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI; Gerald Clamon, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, IA; George R. Blumenschein, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Mark A. Socinski, Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, Orlando, FL; Wallace L. Akerley, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and Herbert H. Pang, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China.

Purpose Concurrent chemoradiotherapy is standard treatment for patients with stage III non-small-cell lung cancer. Elderly patients may experience increased rates of adverse events (AEs) or less benefit from concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Patients and Methods Individual patient data were collected from 16 phase II or III trials conducted by US National Cancer Institute-supported cooperative groups of concurrent chemoradiotherapy alone or with consolidation or induction chemotherapy for stage III non-small-cell lung cancer from 1990 to 2012. Overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, and AEs were compared between patients age ≥ 70 (elderly) and those younger than 70 years (younger). Unadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for survival time and CIs were estimated by single-predictor and multivariable frailty Cox models. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratio (ORs) for AEs and CIs were obtained from single-predictor and multivariable generalized linear mixed-effect models. Results A total of 2,768 patients were classified as younger and 832 as elderly. In unadjusted and multivariable models, elderly patients had worse OS (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.31 and HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.29, respectively). In unadjusted and multivariable models, elderly and younger patients had similar progression-free survival (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.93 to 1.10 and HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.09, respectively). Elderly patients had a higher rate of grade ≥ 3 AEs in unadjusted and multivariable models (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.70 and OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.74, respectively). Grade 5 AEs were significantly higher in elderly compared with younger patients (9% v 4%; P < .01). Fewer elderly compared with younger patients completed treatment (47% v 57%; P < .01), and more discontinued treatment because of AEs (20% v 13%; P < .01), died during treatment (7.8% v 2.9%; P < .01), and refused further treatment (5.8% v 3.9%; P = .02). Conclusion Elderly patients in concurrent chemoradiotherapy trials experienced worse OS, more toxicity, and had a higher rate of death during treatment than younger patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.71.4758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5578390PMC
September 2017

Patterns of Failure After Surgery for Non-Small-cell Lung Cancer Invading the Chest Wall.

Clin Lung Cancer 2017 07 21;18(4):e259-e265. Epub 2016 Nov 21.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA.

Introduction: The patterns of failure after resection of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) invading the chest wall are not well documented, and the role of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) is unclear, prompting the present analysis.

Materials And Methods: The present institutional review board-approved study evaluated patients who had undergone surgery from 1995 to 2014 for localized NSCLC invading the chest wall. Patients with superior sulcus tumors were excluded. The clinical outcomes were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using a log-rank test. The prognostic factors were assessed using a multivariate analysis, and the patterns of failure were scored.

Results: Seventy-four patients were evaluated. Most patients had undergone lobectomy or pneumonectomy (85%) with en bloc chest wall resection (80%) and had pathologically node negative findings (81%). The surgical margins were positive in 10 patients (14%) and most commonly involved the chest wall (7 of 10). Adjuvant treatment included RT in 21 (28%) and chemotherapy in 28 (38%). A total of 24 local recurrences developed. The chest wall was a component of local disease recurrence in 19 of 24 cases (79%). The local control rate at 5 years for the entire population was 60% (95% confidence interval, 46%-74%). The local control rate was 74% with adjuvant RT versus 55% without RT (P = .43). On multivariate analysis, only resection less than lobectomy or pneumonectomy was associated with worse local control. The overall survival rate was 38% with RT versus 34% without RT (P = .59).

Conclusion: Positive surgical margins and local disease recurrence were common after resection of NSCLC invading the chest wall. The primary pattern of failure was local recurrence in the chest wall. Adjuvant RT was not associated with improved local control or survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2016.11.008DOI Listing
July 2017

Rovalpituzumab tesirine, a DLL3-targeted antibody-drug conjugate, in recurrent small-cell lung cancer: a first-in-human, first-in-class, open-label, phase 1 study.

Lancet Oncol 2017 01 5;18(1):42-51. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Tennessee Oncology PLLC, Nashville, TN, USA; Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Rovalpituzumab tesirine is a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate directed against delta-like protein 3 (DLL3), a novel target identified in tumour-initiating cells and expressed in more than 80% of patients with small-cell lung cancer. We aimed to assess the safety and activity of rovalpituzumab tesirine in patients who progressed after one or more previous regimen.

Methods: We conducted a phase 1 open-label study at ten cancer centres in the USA. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older and had histologically or cytologically confirmed small-cell lung cancer or large-cell neuroendocrine tumours with progressive measurable disease (according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [RECIST], version 1.1) previously treated with one or two chemotherapeutic regimens, including a platinum-based regimen. We assigned patients to dose-escalation or expansion cohorts, ranging from 0·05 mg/kg to 0·8 mg/kg rovalpituzumab tesirine intravenously every 3 weeks or every 6 weeks, followed by investigation of the dose schedules 0·3 mg/kg and 0·4 mg/kg every 6 weeks and 0·2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Primary objectives were to assess the safety of rovalpituzumab tesirine, including the maximum tolerated dose and dose-limiting toxic effects. The primary activity endpoint was objective response by intention-to-treat analysis. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01901653. The study is closed to enrolment; this report focuses on the cohort with small-cell lung cancer.

Findings: Between July 22, 2013, and Aug 10, 2015, 82 patients were enrolled, including 74 patients with small-cell lung cancer and eight with large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, all of whom received at least one dose of rovalpituzumab tesirine. Dose-limiting toxic effects of rovalpituzumab tesirine occurred at a dose of 0·8 mg/kg every 3 weeks, including grade 4 thrombocytopenia (in two of two patients at that dose level) and grade 4 liver function test abnormalities (in one patient). The most frequent grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events in 74 patients with small-cell lung cancer were thrombocytopenia (eight [11%]), pleural effusion (six [8%]), and increased lipase (five [7%]). Drug-related serious adverse events occurred in 28 (38%) of 74 patients. The maximum tolerated dose of rovalpituzumab tesirine was 0·4 mg/kg every 3 weeks; the recommended phase 2 dose and schedule is 0·3 mg/kg every 6 weeks. At active doses of rovalpituzumab tesirine (0·2 mg/kg or 0·4 mg/kg every 3 weeks or 0·3 mg/kg or 0·4 mg/kg every 6 weeks), 11 (18%) of 60 assessable patients had a confirmed objective response. 11 (18%) of 60 assessable patients had a confirmed objective response, including ten (38%) of 26 patients confirmed to have high DLL3 expression (expression in 50% or more of tumour cells).

Interpretation: Rovalpituzumab tesirine shows encouraging single-agent antitumour activity with a manageable safety profile. Further development of rovalpituzumab tesirine in DLL3-expressing malignant diseases is warranted.

Funding: Stemcentrx Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30565-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5481162PMC
January 2017

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab as first-line treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (CheckMate 012): results of an open-label, phase 1, multicohort study.

Lancet Oncol 2017 01 5;18(1):31-41. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA.

Background: Nivolumab has shown improved survival in the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) previously treated with chemotherapy. We assessed the safety and activity of combination nivolumab plus ipilimumab as first-line therapy for NSCLC.

Methods: The open-label, phase 1, multicohort study (CheckMate 012) cohorts reported here were enrolled at eight US academic centres. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with histologically or cytologically confirmed recurrent stage IIIb or stage IV, chemotherapy-naive NSCLC. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) by an interactive voice response system to receive nivolumab 1 mg/kg every 2 weeks plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 6 weeks, nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 12 weeks, or nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 6 weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicities, or withdrawal of consent. Data from the latter two cohorts, which were considered potentially suitable for further clinical development, are presented in this report; data from the other cohort (as well as several earlier cohorts) are described in the appendix. The primary outcome was safety and tolerability, assessed in all treated patients. This ongoing study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01454102.

Findings: Between May 15, 2014, and March 25, 2015, 78 patients were randomly assigned to receive nivolumab every 2 weeks plus ipilimumab every 12 weeks (n=38) or nivolumab every 2 weeks plus ipilimumab every 6 weeks (n=40). One patient in the ipilimumab every-6-weeks cohort was excluded before treatment; therefore 77 patients actually received treatment (38 in the ipilimumab every-12-weeks cohort; 39 in the ipilimumab every-6-weeks cohort). At data cut-off on Jan 7, 2016, 29 (76%) patients in the ipilimumab every-12-weeks cohort and 32 (82%) in the ipilimumab every-6-weeks cohort had discontinued treatment. Grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 14 (37%) patients in the ipilimumab every-12-weeks cohort and 13 (33%) patients in the every-6-weeks cohort; the most commonly reported grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events were increased lipase (three [8%] and no patients), pneumonitis (two [5%] and one [3%] patients), adrenal insufficiency (one [3%] and two [5%] patients), and colitis (one [3%] and two [5%] patients). Treatment-related serious adverse events were reported in 12 (32%) patients in the ipilimumab every-12-weeks cohort and 11 (28%) patients in the every-6-weeks cohort. Treatment-related adverse events (any grade) prompted treatment discontinuation in four (11%) patients in the every-12-weeks cohort and five (13%) patients in the every-6-weeks cohort. No treatment-related deaths occurred. Confirmed objective responses were achieved in 18 (47% [95% CI 31-64]) patients in the ipilimumab every-12-weeks cohort and 15 (38% [95% CI 23-55]) patients in the ipilimumab every-6-weeks cohort; median duration of response was not reached in either cohort, with median follow-up times of 12·8 months (IQR 9·3-15·5) in the ipilimumab every-12-weeks cohort and 11·8 months (6·7-15·9) in the ipilimumab every-6-weeks cohort. In patients with PD-L1 of 1% or greater, confirmed objective responses were achieved in 12 (57%) of 21 patients in the ipilimumab every-12-weeks cohort and 13 (57%) of 23 patients in the ipilimumab every-6-weeks cohort.

Interpretation: In NSCLC, first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab had a tolerable safety profile and showed encouraging clinical activity characterised by a high response rate and durable response. To our knowledge, the results of this study are the first suggestion of improved benefit compared with anti-PD-1 monotherapy in patients with NSCLC, supporting further assessment of this combination in a phase 3 study.

Funding: Bristol-Myers Squibb.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30624-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476941PMC
January 2017

Quantifying the Dynamics of Field Cancerization in Tobacco-Related Head and Neck Cancer: A Multiscale Modeling Approach.

Cancer Res 2016 12 20;76(24):7078-7088. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

High rates of local recurrence in tobacco-related head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are commonly attributed to unresected fields of precancerous tissue. Because they are not easily detectable at the time of surgery without additional biopsies, there is a need for noninvasive methods to predict the extent and dynamics of these fields. Here, we developed a spatial stochastic model of tobacco-related HNSCC at the tissue level and calibrated the model using a Bayesian framework and population-level incidence data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry. Probabilistic model analyses were performed to predict the field geometry at time of diagnosis, and model predictions of age-specific recurrence risks were tested against outcome data from SEER. The calibrated models predicted a strong dependence of the local field size on age at diagnosis, with a doubling of the expected field diameter between ages at diagnosis of 50 and 90 years, respectively. Similarly, the probability of harboring multiple, clonally unrelated fields at the time of diagnosis was found to increase substantially with patient age. On the basis of these findings, we hypothesized a higher recurrence risk in older than in younger patients when treated by surgery alone; we successfully tested this hypothesis using age-stratified outcome data. Further clinical studies are needed to validate the model predictions in a patient-specific setting. This work highlights the importance of spatial structure in models of epithelial carcinogenesis and suggests that patient age at diagnosis may be a critical predictor of the size and multiplicity of precancerous lesions. Cancer Res; 76(24); 7078-88. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-1054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5432417PMC
December 2016

Phase II Study of Dasatinib in Previously Treated Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Cancer Invest 2017 Jan 2;35(1):32-35. Epub 2016 Dec 2.

a Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine , Duke University Medical Center , Durham , North Carolina , USA.

The Src pathway in activated in about one-third of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. Dasatinib has Src-inhibitor activity. We examined the activity of dasatinib in 37 patients with advanced, previously treated NSCLC. Among the 29 patients who underwent pre-treatment biopsy for RNA biomarker analysis, 25 were treated with dasatinib 70 mg twice daily. There were no responses. Five patients discontinued treatment due to toxicity. Three patients had minor biopsy-related pneumothoraces. Given the lack of responses, no biomarkers were analyzed. Dasatinib 70 mg twice daily does not have activity nor is it well tolerated in unselected patients with advanced stage, previously treated NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07357907.2016.1253710DOI Listing
January 2017