ORLANDO (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) Checkpoint blockade is associated with reduced toxicity when compared with antiangiogenic therapies for the treatment of advanced non–small-cell lung cancer, a systematic review and meta-analysis suggests.

In 16,810 patients from 37 trials included in the analysis, first-line treatment with nivolumab or pembrolizumab, compared with first-line sorafenib plus platinum doublets, for example, was associated with less combined direct and indirect toxicity (odds ratios, 0.08 and 0.12, respectively), Chin-Chuan Hung, MD, and her colleagues reported in a poster at the annual conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

For subsequent therapy, nivolumab showed lower risk than most antiangiogenic therapies, particularly combination ramucirumab and docetaxel (OR, 0.06), said Dr. Hung of China Medical University Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan.

The findings are notable because tolerability is an essential selection criterion for patients with advanced stage disease, and while checkpoint inhibitors – including nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and atezolizumab – and antiangiogenic agents – including bevacizumab, ramucirumab, and nintedanib – have become the treatments of choice, direct comparisons with respect to tolerability are lacking, she noted.

The investigators performed a systematic review using Bayesian-model network meta-analysis of studies conducted through July 2017 comparing first-line and subsequent regimens containing chemotherapy, antiangiogenic therapy, and/or immune checkpoint inhibitors. Chemotherapy agents studied included cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin, gemcitabine, paclitaxel, docetaxel, and pemetrexed; antiangiogenic agents included bevacizumab, aflibercept, ramucirumab, nintedanib, axitinib, sorafenib, vandetanib, and sunitinib; and immune checkpoint inhibitors included ipilimumab, pembrolizumab, nivolumab, and atezolizumab.

Direct and indirect data for all grade 3-5 adverse events were combined using random-effects network meta-analysis.

“The results indicated that [checkpoint] inhibitors can be preferred choices for less toxicity to treat advanced stage NSCLC compared with antiangiogenic therapies in first-line and subsequent settings,” Dr. Hung and her associates concluded.

This study was supported by the China Medical University Beigang Hospital.

SOURCE: Hsu C et al. NCCN poster 13


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