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Mol Clin Oncol. 2019 Jun;10(6):610-614. doi: 10.3892/mco.2019.1838. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

The efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in advanced non-small cell lung cancer harboring driver mutations.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Aomori 036-8562, Japan.
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Aomori Prefectural Central Hospital, Aomori 030-8553, Japan.
Health Administration Center, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, Aomori 036-8562, Japan.


The present retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring driver mutations. Patients with NSCLC harboring driver mutations who received ICIs (nivolumab or pembrolizumab) were reviewed in Hirosaki University and Aomori Prefectural Central Hospital. There were 139 patients who received molecular targeted drugs, including 24 patients treated with ICIs. Patient characteristics were as follows: Male/female, 5/19; median age 68 (range 39-82); smoking/non-smoking, 6/18; PS 0-1/2, 20/4; driver mutation status, EGFR/ALK/RET/ROS1: 21/1/1/1. The overall response rate was 16.7% [95% confidence interval (CI), 7.0-37.1%] and the disease control rate was 33.4% (95% CI, 18.9-55.1%). The median progression-free survival (PFS) time was 62 days (95% CI 52-81 days). In the patients who had been treated by the preceding tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) for >1 year, the PFS time was 110 days. On the other hand, in the patients who had received a TKI for less than a year, the PFS time was 56 days, which was significantly shorter (P=0.012). To conclude, some of the patients with NSCLC harboring driver mutation could benefit from ICIs, and the duration of previous TKI treatment may be associated with the efficacy.


driver mutation; immune checkpoint inhibitors; non-small cell lung cancer; programmed death ligand-1; tumor mutation burden

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