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      Nivolumab versus Docetaxel in Advanced Squamous-Cell Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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          Abstract

          Patients with advanced squamous-cell non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have disease progression during or after first-line chemotherapy have limited treatment options. This randomized, open-label, international, phase 3 study evaluated the efficacy and safety of nivolumab, a fully human IgG4 programmed death 1 (PD-1) immune-checkpoint-inhibitor antibody, as compared with docetaxel in this patient population. We randomly assigned 272 patients to receive nivolumab, at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight every 2 weeks, or docetaxel, at a dose of 75 mg per square meter of body-surface area every 3 weeks. The primary end point was overall survival. The median overall survival was 9.2 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.3 to 13.3) with nivolumab versus 6.0 months (95% CI, 5.1 to 7.3) with docetaxel. The risk of death was 41% lower with nivolumab than with docetaxel (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.44 to 0.79; P<0.001). At 1 year, the overall survival rate was 42% (95% CI, 34 to 50) with nivolumab versus 24% (95% CI, 17 to 31) with docetaxel. The response rate was 20% with nivolumab versus 9% with docetaxel (P=0.008). The median progression-free survival was 3.5 months with nivolumab versus 2.8 months with docetaxel (hazard ratio for death or disease progression, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.81; P<0.001). The expression of the PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) was neither prognostic nor predictive of benefit. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 were reported in 7% of the patients in the nivolumab group as compared with 55% of those in the docetaxel group. Among patients with advanced, previously treated squamous-cell NSCLC, overall survival, response rate, and progression-free survival were significantly better with nivolumab than with docetaxel, regardless of PD-L1 expression level. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; CheckMate 017 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01642004.).

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          Gefitinib versus docetaxel in previously treated non-small-cell lung cancer (INTEREST): a randomised phase III trial.

          Two phase II trials in patients with previously-treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer suggested that gefitinib was efficacious and less toxic than was chemotherapy. We compared gefitinib with docetaxel in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer who had been pretreated with platinum-based chemotherapy. We undertook an open-label phase III study with recruitment between March 1, 2004, and Feb 17, 2006, at 149 centres in 24 countries. 1466 patients with pretreated (>/=one platinum-based regimen) advanced non-small-cell lung cancer were randomly assigned with dynamic balancing to receive gefitinib (250 mg per day orally; n=733) or docetaxel (75 mg/m(2) intravenously in 1-h infusion every 3 weeks; n=733). The primary objective was to compare overall survival between the groups with co-primary analyses to assess non-inferiority in the overall per-protocol population and superiority in patients with high epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-gene-copy number in the intention-to-treat population. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00076388. 1433 patients were analysed per protocol (723 in gefitinib group and 710 in docetaxel group). Non-inferiority of gefitinib compared with docetaxel was confirmed for overall survival (593 vs 576 events; hazard ratio [HR] 1.020, 96% CI 0.905-1.150, meeting the predefined non-inferiority criterion; median survival 7.6 vs 8.0 months). Superiority of gefitinib in patients with high EGFR-gene-copy number (85 vs 89 patients) was not proven (72 vs 71 events; HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.78-1.51; p=0.62; median survival 8.4 vs 7.5 months). In the gefitinib group, the most common adverse events were rash or acne (360 [49%] vs 73 [10%]) and diarrhoea (255 [35%] vs 177 [25%]); whereas in the docetaxel group, neutropenia (35 [5%] vs 514 [74%]), asthenic disorders (182 [25%] vs 334 [47%]), and alopecia (23 [3%] vs 254 [36%]) were most common. INTEREST established non-inferior survival of gefitinib compared with docetaxel, suggesting that gefitinib is a valid treatment for pretreated patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.
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            Programmed death ligand-1 expression in non-small cell lung cancer.

            Recent strategies targeting the interaction of the programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1, B7-H1, CD274) with its receptor, PD-1, resulted in promising activity in early phase clinical trials. In this study, we used various antibodies and in situ mRNA hybridization to measure PD-L1 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using a quantitative fluorescence (QIF) approach to determine the frequency of expression and prognostic value in two independent populations. A control tissue microarray (TMA) was constructed using PD-L1-transfected cells, normal human placenta and known PD-L1-positive NSCLC cases. Only one of four antibodies against PD-L1 (5H1) validated for specificity on this TMA. In situ PD-L1 mRNA using the RNAscope method was similarly validated. Two cohorts of NSCLC cases in TMAs including 340 cases from hospitals in Greece and 204 cases from Yale University were assessed. Tumors showed PD-L1 protein expression in 36% (Greek) and 25% (Yale) of the cases. PD-L1 expression was significantly associated with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in both cohorts. Patients with PD-L1 (both protein and mRNA) expression above the detection threshold showed statistically significant better outcome in both series (log-rank P=0.036 and P=0.027). Multivariate analysis showed that PD-L1 expression was significantly associated with better outcome independent of histology. Measurement of PD-L1 requires specific conditions and some commercial antibodies show lack of specificity. Expression of PD-L1 protein or mRNA is associated with better outcome. Further studies are required to determine the value of this marker in prognosis and prediction of response to treatments targeting this pathway.
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              Randomized Phase III Trial of Docetaxel Versus Vinorelbine or Ifosfamide in Patients With Advanced Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer Previously Treated With Platinum-Containing Chemotherapy Regimens

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                July 09 2015
                July 09 2015
                : 373
                : 2
                : 123-135
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa1504627
                26028407
                © 2015
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