Research Papers:

Immune checkpoint inhibitor re-challenge in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Maiko Niki, Aya Nakaya _, Takayasu Kurata, Hiroshige Yoshioka, Toshihiko Kaneda, Kayoko Kibata, Makoto Ogata and Shosaku Nomura

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:32298-32304. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25949

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Maiko Niki1, Aya Nakaya1, Takayasu Kurata1, Hiroshige Yoshioka1, Toshihiko Kaneda1, Kayoko Kibata1, Makoto Ogata1 and Shosaku Nomura1

1First Department of Internal Medicine, Kansai Medical University, Shin-machi, Hirakata, Osaka 573-1010, Japan

Correspondence to:

Aya Nakaya, email: [email protected]

Keywords: immune checkpoint inhibitor; nivolumab; pembrolizumab; re-challenge; non-small cell lung cancer

Received: June 11, 2018    Accepted: July 21, 2018    Published: August 17, 2018


Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have dramatically changed lung cancer treatment, demonstrating an overall survival benefit. There are limited data about re-challenge in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. We attempted to address this question for re-challenge of immune checkpoint inhibitor in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 11 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer treated with nivolumab and re-challenged with nivolumab/pemblorizumab at Kansai Medical University Hospital from December 2015 to December 2017.

Results: Three patients achieved PR and two patients were in SD. These patients were apt to be good responders to the initial treatment, to develop immune-related adverse events and to be immediately started on re-challenge with immune checkpoint inhibitor. The median PFS was 2.7 (range, 0.5–16.1) months. Five patients (45%) had mild to moderate immune-related adverse events.

Conclusion: Our study shows the effectiveness of re-challenge of immune checkpoint inhibitors in a subset of non-small cell lung cancer patients. Re-challenge might become one of treatment option for advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

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