Positive outcomes possible for patients who stop immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment
Patients with cancer who stop receiving PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment after achieving sustained disease control (SDC) can still experience positive outcomes, according to a retrospective study.
The study, which analyzed electronic health records of 204 cancer patients treated with ICI between 2014 and 2021, found that 44 patients (21.6%) who achieved SDC and stopped ICI therapy were eligible for inclusion in the study. Of those, 35 patients were included in the final analysis, with 14 stopping ICI treatment due to immune-related adverse events (irAE) and 21 stopping due to other reasons, such as completing 2 years of therapy or undergoing non-cancer related surgery.
The study found that 66% of patients experienced SDC, regardless of cancer type or development of irAE. Of the 14 patients who stopped ICI treatment due to irAE, 64% continued to show SDC and only 36% experienced progression of disease (PD). Of those who stopped due to other reasons, 62% continued to have SDC, and 38% experienced PD after stopping treatment. However, 7 of the 8 patients who experienced PD in this group were re-challenged with ICI, with 2 of them achieving disease control.
At a median follow-up of 21.3 months from stopping ICI therapy, 71% of the patients from the irAE group and 61.9% from the non-irAE group remained in DC and had not experienced PD.
Sharma H, Moturi KR, Pankratz VS, et al. Outcomes of responders to PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors who discontinue therapy after sustained disease control. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2023;doi: 10.1007/s00432-023-04812-0. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37115270.