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J Clin Oncol. 2019 Aug 1;37(22):1927-1934. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.00189. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Outcomes for Patients With Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Receiving Baseline Corticosteroids for Palliative Versus Nonpalliative Indications.

Author information

1
1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
2
2Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Baseline use of corticosteroids is associated with poor outcomes in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with programmed cell death-1 axis inhibition. To approach the question of causation versus correlation for this association, we examined outcomes in patients treated with immunotherapy depending on whether corticosteroids were administered for cancer-related palliative reasons or cancer-unrelated indications.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Clinical outcomes in patients with NSCLC treated with immunotherapy who received ≥ 10 mg prednisone were compared with outcomes in patients who received 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone.

RESULTS:

Of 650 patients, the 93 patients (14.3%) who received ≥ 10 mg of prednisone at the time of immunotherapy initiation had shorter median progression-free survival (mPFS) and median overall survival (mOS) times than patients who received 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone (mPFS, 2.0 v 3.4 months, respectively; P = .01; mOS, 4.9 v 11.2 months, respectively; P < .001). When analyzed by reason for corticosteroid administration, mPFS and mOS were significantly shorter only among patients who received ≥ 10 mg prednisone for palliative indications compared with patients who received ≥ 10 mg prednisone for cancer-unrelated reasons and with patients receiving 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone (mPFS, 1.4 v 4.6 v 3.4 months, respectively; log-rank P < .001 across the three groups; mOS, 2.2 v 10.7 v 11.2 months, respectively; log-rank P < .001 across the three groups). There was no significant difference in mPFS or mOS in patients receiving ≥ 10 mg of prednisone for cancer-unrelated indications compared with patients receiving 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone.

CONCLUSION:

Although patients with NSCLC treated with ≥ 10 mg of prednisone at the time of immunotherapy initiation have worse outcomes than patients who received 0 to < 10 mg of prednisone, this difference seems to be driven by a poor-prognosis subgroup of patients who receive corticosteroids for palliative indications.

PMID:
31206316
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.19.00189

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