HealthDay News — For patients with locally advanced, unresectable, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the anti-programmed death ligand 1 antibody durvalumab is associated with significantly longer progression-free survival compared with placebo, according to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, held September 8-12 in Madrid.

Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD, from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, and colleagues randomized 709 patients with stage III NSCLC in a 2:1 ratio to receive durvalumab (473 patients) or placebo (236 patients) every 2 weeks for up to 1 year.

The researchers found that the median progression-free survival from randomization was 16.8 and 5.6 months for durvalumab and placebo, respectively (stratified hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.52); the 12- and 18-month progression-free survival rates were 55.9% and 35.3%, respectively, and 44.2% and 27%, respectively. A significantly higher response rate was seen with durvalumab versus placebo (28.4% vs 16%), with a longer median duration of response (72.8% vs 46.8% of patients had ongoing response at 18 months). Durvalumab was associated with significantly longer median time to death or distant metastasis (23.2 versus 14.6 months). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 29.9% and 26.1% of patients who received durvalumab and placebo, respectively.

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“Progression-free survival was significantly longer with durvalumab than with placebo,” the authors write.

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Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, which manufactures durvalumab and funded the study.


Antonia SJ, Villegas A, Daniel D, et al; for the PACIFIC Investigators. Durvalumab after chemoradiotherapy in stage III non-small-cell lung cancer [published online September 8, 2017]. N Engl J Med. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1709937