Expert Point of View: Michael Boyer, MBBS, PhD

“Taken together, ATLANTIC’s findings show that “durvalumab is active in heavily pretreated patients, and its degree of activity is related to programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression,” commented invited discussant, Michael Boyer, MBBS, PhD, Chief Clinical Officer and Conjoint Chair of Medical Oncology (Thoracic Oncology), at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The findings are consistent with those among subgroups of similar patients in other trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors.

What the relevance of third- and fourth-line treatment will be in the future will be hard to determine.
— Michael Boyer, MBBS, PhD

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Questions Remain

Longer exposure to durvalumab appears to be associated with more adverse events. “This is of relevance when we start thinking about questions about the duration of treatment,” he asserted.

“For me, perhaps the biggest question about these data relates to the emerging data on first-line and second-line use of this class of drugs,” Dr. Boyer concluded. “Clearly, the best performers in this study were the ones with the highest PD-L1 expression. But we know these are the very patients who in the future are likely to be receiving these drugs as part of their first-line treatment. Therefore, what the relevance of third- and fourth-line treatment will be in the future will be hard to determine.” ■

Disclosure: Michael Boyer, MBBS, PhD, has received research support from Genentech/Roche, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, AstraZeneca, and Clovis.

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