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      Utility of PD-L1 immunohistochemistry assays for predicting PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor response

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          Abstract

          We have seen a notable increase in the application of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors for the treatment of several solid and hematogenous malignancies including metastatic melanoma, non-small-cell lung cancer and lymphoma to name a few. The need for biomarkers for identification of a suitable patient population for this type of therapy is now pressing. While specific biomarker assays have been developed for these checkpoint inhibitors based on their respective epitopes, the available studies suggested the clinical utility of these biomarker assays is for response stratification and not patient selection. Further improvement in assay development is needed to utilize this type of assay in identification of ideal patient population for this therapy.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Combined nivolumab and ipilimumab versus ipilimumab alone in patients with advanced melanoma: 2-year overall survival outcomes in a multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 2 trial.

          Results from phase 2 and 3 trials in patients with advanced melanoma have shown significant improvements in the proportion of patients achieving an objective response and prolonged progression-free survival with the combination of nivolumab (an anti-PD-1 antibody) plus ipilimumab (an anti-CTLA-4 antibody) compared with ipilimumab alone. We report 2-year overall survival data from a randomised controlled trial assessing this treatment in previously untreated advanced melanoma.
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            Quantitative Assessment of the Heterogeneity of PD-L1 Expression in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

            Early-phase trials with monoclonal antibodies targeting PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) and PD-L1 (programmed cell death 1 ligand 1) have demonstrated durable clinical responses in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, current assays for the prognostic and/or predictive role of tumor PD-L1 expression are not standardized with respect to either quantity or distribution of expression.
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              Antitumor Activity of Pembrolizumab in Biomarker-Unselected Patients With Recurrent and/or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Results From the Phase Ib KEYNOTE-012 Expansion Cohort

              Purpose Treatment with pembrolizumab, an anti–programmed death-1 antibody, at 10 mg/kg administered once every 2 weeks, displayed durable antitumor activity in programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) –positive recurrent and/or metastatic (R/M) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in the KEYNOTE-012 trial. Results from the expansion cohort, in which patients with HNSCC, irrespective of biomarker status, received a fixed dose of pembrolizumab at a less frequent dosing schedule, are reported. Patients and Methods Patients with R/M HNSCC, irrespective of PD-L1 or human papillomavirus status, received pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously once every 3 weeks. Imaging was performed every 8 weeks. Primary end points were overall response rate (ORR) per central imaging vendor (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors v1.1) and safety. Secondary end points included progression-free survival, overall survival, and association of response and PD-L1 expression. Patients who received one or more doses of pembrolizumab were included in analyses. Results Of 132 patients enrolled, median age was 60 years (range, 25 to 84 years), 83% were male, and 57% received two or more lines of therapy for R/M disease. ORR was 18% (95% CI, 12 to 26) by central imaging vendor and 20% (95% CI, 13 to 28) by investigator review. Median duration of response was not reached (range, ≥ 2 to ≥ 11 months). Six-month progression-free survival and overall survival rates were 23% and 59%, respectively. By using tumor and immune cells, a statistically significant increase in ORR was observed for PD-L1–positive versus –negative patients (22% v 4%; P = .021). Treatment-related adverse events of any grade and grade ≥ 3 events occurred in 62% and 9% of patients, respectively. Conclusion Fixed-dose pembrolizumab 200 mg administered once every 3 weeks was well tolerated and yielded a clinically meaningful ORR with evidence of durable responses, which supports further development of this regimen in patients with advanced HNSCC.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                1-314-577-8566 , hsuehec@slu.edu
                Journal
                Biomark Res
                Biomark Res
                Biomarker Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                2050-7771
                15 March 2017
                15 March 2017
                2017
                : 5
                Affiliations
                ISNI 0000 0004 1936 9342, GRID grid.262962.b, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, , Saint Louis University, ; 3635 Vista at Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110 USA
                Article
                93
                10.1186/s40364-017-0093-8
                5353958
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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