NSCLC Coverage From Every Angle

ESMO 2017: PD-L1 Inhibitor Durvalumab for Stage III Locally Advanced Lung Cancer

Based on the results of one of the largest studies ever conducted in stage III non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor durvalumab improved progression-free survival by nearly 1 year compared with placebo in patients with locally advanced, unresectable disease that did not progress after standard chemoradiotherapy.

Many experts believe these data from the phase III PACIFIC study, which were presented by Luis Paz-Ares, MD, of the Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre, Madrid, at the 2017 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress (Abstract LBA1_PR), are clinically relevant and have the potential to be practice-changing. These findings were published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“By using durvalumab, you increase the time the disease is in control,” revealed Dr. Paz-Ares at the conference. “We haven’t analyzed survival data yet, but we hope we can increase the percentage of patients alive at 5 years with this therapy,”

Conducted at 235 centers in 26 countries, the PACIFIC trial includes 713 patients whose stage III disease had not progressed after platinum-based chemotherapy and concurrent radiation therapy for up to 42 days. In a preplanned interim analysis at 14.5 months, the median progression-free survival favored durvalumab over placebo (16.8 vs. 5.6 months), with a 48% reduction in the likelihood of disease progression. The benefit with durvalumab was observed for all patient subgroups, including those with PD-L1–positive and –negative disease.