Practice Changing Results Presented by BMS, Roche, and Merck at AACR 2018 on NSCLC

Breakthrough Research Outcomes from Bristol-Myer Squib, Roche, and Merck Announced in AACR 2018 Annual Meeting: Changing the Treatment Options for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Lung cancer is the second-most common cancer after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. As revealed by the American Cancer Society, each year, nearly 234,000 new cases of lung cancer can be identified, out of which approximately 80% to 85% are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

On Monday, 16 April 2018, three major players in the field of cancer immunotherapy, Bristol-Myer Squib, Roche, and Merck, have shared outcomes of their recent trials that have the potential to change the way lung cancer is treated. The announcements were made at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). The companies were trying to find out how their checkpoint inhibitors can be used in combination with either chemotherapy or other immunotherapies for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Roche’s PD-1/L1 drug Tecentriq, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo, and Merck’s Keytruda have come a long way in providing the effective options for treating NSCLC. BMS has been the first one to win approval for Opdivo for NSCLC in 2015 for patients whose disease has progressed. Shortly thereafter Merck also secured FDA approval in second line for PD-L1 positive disease. However Merck also gained approvals in first line both as a single agent in PD-L1 positive NSCLC and in combination with chemotherapy in all comers. On the other hand BMS’ trial in first line in all comers was negative.

Results presented at AACR 18 will most likely change again the treatment paradigm for NSCLC offering new treatment options to patients.

Bristol-Myers Squib has announced that the one-year progression-free survival rate was more than triple with the combination of Opdivo and low-dose Yervoy versus chemotherapy (43% vs. 13%) in first-line non-small cell lung cancer patients with high tumor mutational burden (TMB)>=10 mutations/megabase (mut/Mb). The PFS benefit was observed regardless of PD-L1 expression levels and in both squamous and non-squamous tumor histology. The overall response rate was also double than chemotherapy (45.3% vs. 26.9%).

Merck has also announced that its Keytruda with platinum chemotherapy and Permetrexed can reduce the risk of death of patients with advanced NSCLC by half compared with chemotherapy alone. This OS benefit was observed regardless of PD-L1 expression in the three PD-L1 categories that were evaluated, including: patients whose tumors were negative for PD-L1; patients whose tumors had PD-L1 tumor proportion scores (TPS) of 1-49 percent; and patients who had a TPS of greater than or equal to 50 percent. The progression-free survival (PFS) rate also improved significantly, with a reduction in the risk of progression or death of nearly half for NSCLC patients.

Roche also announced that the combination of TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab) and Avastin® (bevacizumab) plus carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy) can help people with NSCLC live significantly longer compared with Avastin plus carboplatin and paclitaxel. This treatment option can also reduce the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival; PFS), a co-primary endpoint, by 38 percent. This PFS benefit was observed across key subgroups, including those with varying levels of PD-L1 expression.

All these results have opened a new horizon in the treatment of NSCLC, and it is expected that the overall survival rate and progression-free survival rate of NSCLC patients will increase dramatically in the near future.

Practice Changing Results Presented by BMS, Roche, and Merck at AACR 2018 on NSCLC last edit: 2018-04-17T09:44:52+00:00 da Luca

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