Immune-Related Adverse Events and Outcomes With Immunotherapy for NSCLC

Key Points

  • In patients with advanced or recurrent NSCLC treated with nivolumab, occurrence of immune-related adverse events was associated with improved progression-free survival.
  • Occurrence of immune-related adverse events was associated with improved overall survival. 

In a Japanese analysis reported in JAMA Oncology, Haratani et al found that development of immune-related adverse events was associated with improved survival among patients receiving nivolumab (Opdivo) for advanced or recurrent non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Study Details

The study involved 134 patients who were treated with nivolumab in the second-line or later setting between December 2015 and August 2016 at 4 Japanese sites. Data were updated as of December 31, 2016. Kaplan-Meier curves of progression-free and overall survival, according to the development of immune-related adverse events in 6-week landmark analyses, were evaluated by log-rank test as preplanned objectives. Patients had a median age of 68 years, and 67% were male.

Association With Survival

Immune-related adverse events were observed in 69 patients (51%), including grade 3 or 4 events in 12 (9%), with 24 (18%) requiring systemic corticosteroid therapy. In a 6-week landmark analysis, for patients with vs without immune-related adverse events, median progression-free survival was 9.2 months vs 4.8 months (P = .04), and median overall survival was not reached vs 11.1 months (P = .01). On a multivariate analysis, occurrence of immune-related adverse events continued to be significantly positively associated with progression-free survival (HR = 0.525, P = .03) and overall survival (HR = 0.282, P = .003).

The investigators concluded: “Development of [immune-related adverse events] was associated with survival outcome of nivolumab treatment in patients with advanced or recurrent NSCLC. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.”

Hidetoshi Hayashi, MD, PhD, of Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, is the corresponding author of the JAMA Oncology article.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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