Survival outcomes in extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES SCLC) are dismal, with median overall survival (OS) less than 12 months. The combination of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) with first-line platinum-etoposide chemotherapy has been recently evaluated in randomized clinical trials. We performed a systematic literature review through PubMed and conference proceedings. Randomized trials evaluating chemotherapy +/− PD-1/PD-L1 ICIs were included in the meta-analysis. Efficacy (OS), activity [progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR)] outcomes and toxicities were analyzed. For selected endpoints, we focused on patients’ subgroups (OS) and on landmark analyses (OS, PFS). Four randomized trials were identified; globally, 1553 patients were randomized to receive chemotherapy +/− PD-1/PD-L1 ICIs. Adding a PD-1/PD-L1 ICI to chemotherapy led to a significant benefit in OS [hazard ratio (HR) 0.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68–0.85, p < 0.00001), PFS [HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.68–0.84, p < 0.00001] and ORR [odds ratio 1.28, 95% CI 1.04–1.57, p = 0.02]. No unexpected toxicity emerged. At 12, 18, 24 months for OS, and at 12, 18 months for PFS, experimental arms retained significant improvement in event-free rates, with absolute gain of approximately 10% compared with standard treatment. Albeit the magnitude of the benefit is less impacting compared to other settings of immunotherapy, the addition of PD-1/PD-L1 ICIs to chemotherapy in ES SCLC provided significant improvements in survival outcomes with the known toxicity profile. Biomarkers predicting which patients are suitable to derive long-term benefits are eagerly awaited.
Adding PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors to chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of extensive stage small cell lung cancer (Sclc): A meta-analysis of randomized trials / Facchinetti, F.; Di Maio, M.; Tiseo, M.. - In: CANCERS. - ISSN 2072-6694. - 12:9(2020), pp. 1-18. [10.3390/cancers12092645]
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