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      Durvalumab after Chemoradiotherapy in Stage III Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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          Abstract

          Background Most patients with locally advanced, unresectable, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have disease progression despite definitive chemoradiotherapy (chemotherapy plus concurrent radiation therapy). This phase 3 study compared the anti-programmed death ligand 1 antibody durvalumab as consolidation therapy with placebo in patients with stage III NSCLC who did not have disease progression after two or more cycles of platinum-based chemoradiotherapy. Methods We randomly assigned patients, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive durvalumab (at a dose of 10 mg per kilogram of body weight intravenously) or placebo every 2 weeks for up to 12 months. The study drug was administered 1 to 42 days after the patients had received chemoradiotherapy. The coprimary end points were progression-free survival (as assessed by means of blinded independent central review) and overall survival (unplanned for the interim analysis). Secondary end points included 12-month and 18-month progression-free survival rates, the objective response rate, the duration of response, the time to death or distant metastasis, and safety. Results Of 713 patients who underwent randomization, 709 received consolidation therapy (473 received durvalumab and 236 received placebo). The median progression-free survival from randomization was 16.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.0 to 18.1) with durvalumab versus 5.6 months (95% CI, 4.6 to 7.8) with placebo (stratified hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.65; P<0.001); the 12-month progression-free survival rate was 55.9% versus 35.3%, and the 18-month progression-free survival rate was 44.2% versus 27.0%. The response rate was higher with durvalumab than with placebo (28.4% vs. 16.0%; P<0.001), and the median duration of response was longer (72.8% vs. 46.8% of the patients had an ongoing response at 18 months). The median time to death or distant metastasis was longer with durvalumab than with placebo (23.2 months vs. 14.6 months; P<0.001). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 29.9% of the patients who received durvalumab and 26.1% of those who received placebo; the most common adverse event of grade 3 or 4 was pneumonia (4.4% and 3.8%, respectively). A total of 15.4% of patients in the durvalumab group and 9.8% of those in the placebo group discontinued the study drug because of adverse events. Conclusions Progression-free survival was significantly longer with durvalumab than with placebo. The secondary end points also favored durvalumab, and safety was similar between the groups. (Funded by AstraZeneca; PACIFIC ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02125461 .).

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          Most cited references 20

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          The blockade of immune checkpoints in cancer immunotherapy.

          Among the most promising approaches to activating therapeutic antitumour immunity is the blockade of immune checkpoints. Immune checkpoints refer to a plethora of inhibitory pathways hardwired into the immune system that are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance and modulating the duration and amplitude of physiological immune responses in peripheral tissues in order to minimize collateral tissue damage. It is now clear that tumours co-opt certain immune-checkpoint pathways as a major mechanism of immune resistance, particularly against T cells that are specific for tumour antigens. Because many of the immune checkpoints are initiated by ligand-receptor interactions, they can be readily blocked by antibodies or modulated by recombinant forms of ligands or receptors. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA4) antibodies were the first of this class of immunotherapeutics to achieve US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Preliminary clinical findings with blockers of additional immune-checkpoint proteins, such as programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1), indicate broad and diverse opportunities to enhance antitumour immunity with the potential to produce durable clinical responses.
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            Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Cancer Therapy.

            Immunologic checkpoint blockade with antibodies that target cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and the programmed cell death protein 1 pathway (PD-1/PD-L1) have demonstrated promise in a variety of malignancies. Ipilimumab (CTLA-4) and pembrolizumab (PD-1) are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced melanoma, and additional regulatory approvals are expected across the oncologic spectrum for a variety of other agents that target these pathways. Treatment with both CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1 blockade is associated with a unique pattern of adverse events called immune-related adverse events, and occasionally, unusual kinetics of tumor response are seen. Combination approaches involving CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1 blockade are being investigated to determine whether they enhance the efficacy of either approach alone. Principles learned during the development of CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1 approaches will likely be used as new immunologic checkpoint blocking antibodies begin clinical investigation. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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              Irradiation and anti-PD-L1 treatment synergistically promote antitumor immunity in mice.

              High-dose ionizing irradiation (IR) results in direct tumor cell death and augments tumor-specific immunity, which enhances tumor control both locally and distantly. Unfortunately, local relapses often occur following IR treatment, indicating that IR-induced responses are inadequate to maintain antitumor immunity. Therapeutic blockade of the T cell negative regulator programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1, also called B7-H1) can enhance T cell effector function when PD-L1 is expressed in chronically inflamed tissues and tumors. Here, we demonstrate that PD-L1 was upregulated in the tumor microenvironment after IR. Administration of anti-PD-L1 enhanced the efficacy of IR through a cytotoxic T cell-dependent mechanism. Concomitant with IR-mediated tumor regression, we observed that IR and anti-PD-L1 synergistically reduced the local accumulation of tumor-infiltrating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), which suppress T cells and alter the tumor immune microenvironment. Furthermore, activation of cytotoxic T cells with combination therapy mediated the reduction of MDSCs in tumors through the cytotoxic actions of TNF. Our data provide evidence for a close interaction between IR, T cells, and the PD-L1/PD-1 axis and establish a basis for the rational design of combination therapy with immune modulators and radiotherapy.
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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
                November 16 2017
                November 16 2017
                : 377
                : 20
                : 1919-1929
                Affiliations
                [1 ]From the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa (S.J.A., A.C., J.E.G.), Cancer Specialists of North Florida, Jacksonville (A.V.), and Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, Orlando (T.M.) — all in Florida; Tennessee Oncology, Chattanooga, and Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville — both in Tennessee (D.D.); Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Seville (D.V.), and Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer, Universidad Complutense and...
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa1709937
                28885881
                © 2017
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