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Prevalence and Heterogeneity of PD-L1 Expression by 22C3 Assay in Routine Population-Based and Reflexive Clinical Testing in Lung Cancer

Hwang, David M; Albaqer, Tahani; Santiago, Rex C; Weiss, Jessica; Tanguay, Jeffrey; Cabanero, Michael; Leung, Yuki; Pal, Prodipto; Khan, Zanobia; Lau, Sally C M; Sacher, Adrian; Torlakovic, Emina; Cheung, Carol; Tsao, Ming-Sound
INTRODUCTION:Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is used as a biomarker for anti-programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) or anti-PD-L1 immunotherapies in NSCLC. We report here the results of population-based PD-L1 testing using the 22C3 IHC pharmDx Assay (Agilent Technologies) in a large Canadian regional reference pathology laboratory. METHODS:Testing was conducted reflexively on biopsies and resections for NSCLC during an 8-month period. Tumor proportion score (TPS) cutoffs for low and high expression were 1% and 50%, respectively. RESULTS:area (p < 0.026). Concordance among 27 patients with paired primary lung and metastatic tumor biopsies revealed only weak concordance (κ = 0.48). CONCLUSIONS:Intratumoral heterogeneity of PD-L1 expression may result in misclassification of PD-L1 status in a substantial proportion of PD-L1-negative small biopsy samples. Biopsy of metastatic site may increase proportion of patients with high PD-L1 expression.
PMID: 33915250
ISSN: 1556-1380
CID: 5007212

Subtypes of EGFR- and HER2-Mutant Metastatic NSCLC Influence Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Lau, Sally C M; Fares, Aline Fusco; Le, Lisa W; Mackay, Kate M; Soberano, Spencer; Chan, Sze Wah; Smith, Elliot; Ryan, Malcolm; Tsao, Ming Sound; Bradbury, Penelope A; Pal, Prodipto; Shepherd, Frances A; Liu, Geoffrey; Leighl, Natasha B; Sacher, Adrian G
INTRODUCTION:The efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) is low among EGFR-mutated non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), although prolonged responses have occasionally been reported. We investigated the association between mutation subtypes and ICI outcomes among HER2- and EGFR-mutated NSCLC. PATIENTS AND METHODS:This retrospective single-center study analyzed patients with EGFR- and HER2-mutated advanced NSCLC who received at least 1 cycle of ICI between 2013 and 2019. Patient characteristics, mutation subtype, and ICI outcomes. RESULTS:Among 48 patients with advanced NSCLC, 14 (29%) had HER2 mutations and 34 (71%) had EGFR mutations. EGFR mutations included 16 (47%) exon 19 deletion, 7 (21%) L858R, 5 (15%) uncommon, and 6 (18%) exon 20 insertion. Compared to EGFR-sensitizing mutations (ESMs), HER2 and EGFR exon 20 mutations were associated with a trend toward better response (respectively, ESM, HER2, and EGFR exon 20: 11%, 29%, and 50%; P = .07) and significantly better disease control rates (respectively, 18%, 57%, and 67%; P = .008). Compared to ESM, HER2 mutations (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.35; P = .02) and EGFR exon 20 mutations (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.37; P = .10 trend) were also associated with improved PFS. Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression remained an independent predictor of PFS (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.42; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.76; P = .004). The 6-month PFS rates were 29% (HER2), 33% (EGFR exon 20), and 4% (ESM). ICIs were generally well tolerated in this population. Importantly, no immune-related toxicity was observed in 10 patients who received a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) as the immediate next line treatment after ICI. CONCLUSION:HER2 and EGFR exon 20 mutations derive greater benefit from ICIs with comparable PFS to wild-type historical second/third-line unselected cohorts. ICIs remain a treatment option for this genomic subgroup, given the absence of approved targeted therapies for these rare mutations.
PMID: 33582070
ISSN: 1938-0690
CID: 5007202

Durability of CNS disease control in NSCLC patients with brain metastases treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors plus cranial radiotherapy

Lau, Sally C M; Poletes, Christopher; Le, Lisa W; Mackay, Kate M; Fares, Aline Fusco; Bradbury, Penelope A; Shepherd, Frances A; Tsao, Ming Sound; Leighl, Natasha B; Liu, Geoffrey; Shultz, David; Sacher, Adrian G
BACKGROUND:Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have excellent systemic activity and are standard first line treatment in EGFR/ALK wild type metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, their role in patients with brain metastases, which affects over 20% of patients and cause significant morbidity, is less clear. METHODS:We reviewed patients with EGFR/ALK wild-type mNSCLC with CNS metastases. Serial MRIs were reviewed to determine the time to intracranial progression (iPFS). Multivariate regression was performed to adjust for the disease-specific graded prognostic score (ds-GPA). RESULTS:We identified 36 ICI- and 33 chemotherapy-treated patients with baseline CNS metastases and available serial MRIs (average frequency:3.5 months). Baseline radiation was given except for 2 chemotherapy-treated patients with asymptomatic solitary metastasis. The CNS burden of disease was higher in the ICI-treated group (ICI:22% vs. chemotherapy:0% had >10 lesions; p = 0.02), but the utilization of WBRT was not (ICI:31% vs. chemotherapy:45%; p = 0.09). At the time of progression, CNS involvement was identified in 30 % of ICI-treated patients compared to 64 % of chemotherapy controls (p = 0.02). ICI-treated patients had superior iPFS (13.5 vs 8.4 months) that remained significant in multivariate analysis (HR 1.9; 95%CI 1.1--3.4). Superior CNS outcomes in ICI-treated patients were driven by the PD-L1 high subgroup where the 12-month cumulative incidence rate of CNS progression was 19% in ICI-treated PD-L1 ≥ 50%, 50% in ICI-treated PD-L1 < 50% and 58% in chemotherapy-treated patients (p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS:Remarkable CNS disease control is seen with baseline RT plus ICIs in patients with PD-L1 ≥ 50%. Strategies for delaying WBRT should be investigated in this subgroup of patients.
PMID: 33932863
ISSN: 1872-8332
CID: 5007222

Durvalumab therapy following chemoradiation compared with a historical cohort treated with chemoradiation alone in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer: A real-world multicentre study

Desilets, Antoine; Blanc-Durand, Félix; Lau, Sally; Hakozaki, Taiki; Kitadai, Rui; Malo, Julie; Belkaid, Wiam; Richard, Corentin; Messaoudene, Meriem; Cvetkovic, Lena; Kazandjian, Suzanne; Tehfe, Mustapha; Florescu, Marie; Jao, Kevin; Daaboul, Nathalie; Owen, Scott; Shieh, Benjamin; Agulnik, Jason; Cohen, Victor; Charbonneau, Chloé; Marcoux, Nicolas; Blais, Normand; Leighl, Natasha B; Bradbury, Penelope A; Liu, Geoffrey; Shepherd, Frances A; Bahig, Houda; Routy, Bertrand; Sacher, Adrian; Elkrief, Arielle
BACKGROUND:The PACIFIC trial demonstrated that durvalumab therapy following chemoradiation (CRT) was associated with improved overall survival (OS) in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is unclear whether the results obtained as part of randomised controlled trials are a reflection of real-world (RW) data. Several questions remain unanswered with regard to RW durvalumab use, such as optimal time to durvalumab initiation, incidence of pneumonitis and response in PD-L1 subgroups. METHODS:In this multicentre retrospective analysis, 147 patients with stage III NSCLC treated with CRT followed by durvalumab were compared with a historical cohort of 121 patients treated with CRT alone. Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test in univariate analysis. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of standard prognostic factors for durvalumab use. RESULTS:Median OS was not reached in the durvalumab group, compared with 26.9 months in the historical group (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.37-0.85, p = 0.001). In the durvalumab group, our data suggest improved 12-month OS in patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50% (100% vs 86%, HR: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.11-0.58, p = 0.007). There was no difference in OS between patients with a PD-L1 expression of 1-49% and patients with PD-L1 expression <1%. Delay in durvalumab initiation beyond 42 days did not impact OS. Incidence of pneumonitis was similar in the durvalumab and historical groups. In the durvalumab group, patients who experienced any-grade pneumonitis had a lower 12-month OS than patients without pneumonitis (85% vs 95%, respectively; HR: 3.3, 95% CI: 1.2-9.0, p = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS:This multicentre analysis suggests that PD-L1 expression ≥50% was associated with favourable OS in patients with stage III NSCLC treated with durvalumab after CRT, whereas the presence of pneumonitis represented a negative prognostic factor.
PMID: 33242835
ISSN: 1879-0852
CID: 5007192

Tobacco exposure and immunotherapy response in PD-L1 positive lung cancer patients

Li, Janice J N; Karim, Khizar; Sung, Mike; Le, Lisa W; Lau, Sally C M; Sacher, Adrian; Leighl, Natasha B
BACKGROUND:Tobacco exposure contributes to over 80 % of lung cancer cases. Smoking is associated with programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) tumor expression and better outcomes from anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1) therapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). PD-L1 tumor expression is now routinely used to predict benefit from anti-PD-1 therapy in patients with advanced NSCLC. In this study, we explored the impact of smoking status on patient outcomes with anti-PD-1 therapy in addition to PD-L1 tumor expression. METHODS:A prospective real-world cohort of 268 patients with advanced NSCLC treated with anti-PD-1 monotherapy at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC) was used for this analysis. Logistic regression was performed to test factors associated with treatment response (RECIST v1.1), including PD-L1 tumour proportion score (TPS) and smoking status. RESULTS:Overall response rates (ORR) to immunotherapy were significantly higher in current and former smokers than never smokers (36 % vs 26 % vs 14 %; p = 0.02). In patients with PD-L1 tumour proportion score (TPS) ≥50 %, current smokers continued to experience better ORR to anti-PD-1 therapy than never smokers (58 % vs 19 %; p = 0.03). Current smoking was associated with higher response even after adjusting for level of PD-L1 TPS expression (adjusted odds ratio 5.9, 95 % CI 1.6-25.0, p = 0.03). Exploratory analysis demonstrated higher 1-year survival rates in smokers compared to never smokers (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS:Smoking remains an important factor associated with response to anti-PD-1 monotherapy. Advanced NSCLC patients with positive PD-L1 expression are more likely to respond to anti-PD-1 monotherapy if they are current smokers compared to never smokers.
PMID: 33171404
ISSN: 1872-8332
CID: 5007182

ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinoma transformation into high-grade large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: Clinical and molecular description of two cases [Case Report]

Fares, Aline F; Lok, Benjamin H; Zhang, Tong; Cabanero, Michael; Lau, Sally C M; Stockley, Tracy; Patel, Devalben; Bradbury, Penelope A; Sacher, Adrian; Yasufuku, Kazuhiro; Morash, Barbara A; Sabatini, Peter J B; Nguyen, Lananhn N; Leighl, Natasha B; Tsao, Ming-Sound; Shepherd, Frances A; Liu, Geoffrey; Martins-Filho, Sebastiao N; Pal, Prodipto
PMID: 32546380
ISSN: 1872-8332
CID: 5007172

Hyperprogressive disease with immunotherapy: new directions [Comment]

Lau, Sally C M; Leighl, Natasha B
PMID: 31632773
ISSN: 2072-1439
CID: 5007162

Outcome Differences Between First- and Second-generation EGFR Inhibitors in Advanced EGFR Mutated NSCLC in a Large Population-based Cohort

Lau, Sally C; Chooback, Negar; Ho, Cheryl; Melosky, Barbara
INTRODUCTION:Second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) appear superior to first-generation TKIs in clinical trials, but at the cost of greater toxicity. It is unclear whether real-world patients, who often suffer worse outcomes, experience similar survival benefits. Using population-based data, we aim to characterize outcome differences by type of treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS:We reviewed all patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer who initiated treatment with an EGFR TKI at BC Cancer between 2010 and 2015. A propensity score was generated to account for imbalances in patient characteristics between treatment groups. A Cox proportional hazards model based on the propensity score was then used to estimate effects of treatment on survival. RESULTS:A total of 484 patients were identified for analysis. Patients in the second-generation cohort were younger (62 vs. 67 years), had less baseline central nervous system metastases (9% vs. 22%), and more uncommon EGFR mutations (13% vs. 7%). Patients receiving a second-generation TKI had an improved overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.69; P = .05), driven by the subgroup with an EGFR exon 19 deletion. Patients with a L858R mutation did not appear to derive benefit from a second-generation TKI (hazard ratio, 0.91; P = .74). Overall, 40% of patients receiving a second-generation TKI required a dose reduction, but only 1% required discontinuation. CONCLUSIONS:Second-generation TKIs tended to be chosen over first-generation TKIs as frontline therapy in younger patients with uncommon EGFR mutations and without central nervous system metastases. The survival benefit of a second-generation TKI seen in clinical trials appeared to be generalizable to real-world patients and is a reasonable first-line therapy.
PMID: 31178389
ISSN: 1938-0690
CID: 5007152

Financial Burden Among Patients With Lung Cancer in a Publically Funded Health Care System

Ezeife, Doreen A; Morganstein, Brandon Josh; Lau, Sally; Law, Jennifer H; Le, Lisa W; Bredle, Jason; Cella, David; Doherty, Mark K; Bradbury, Penelope; Liu, Geoffrey; Sacher, Adrian; Shepherd, Frances A; Leighl, Natasha B
INTRODUCTION:Financial distress has been established as a clinically relevant patient-reported outcome associated with worse mortality and quality of life. Our goal was to define factors associated with financial burden (FB) in a public health care system. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Patients with advanced lung cancer were recruited from outpatient clinics at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Toronto, Canada). FB was measured with the validated Comprehensive Score for Financial Toxicity (COST) instrument, a 12-item survey scored from 0 to 44, with lower scores reflecting worse financial well-being. Data on patient and treatment characteristics, total out-of-pocket costs (OOP), and private insurance coverage were collected. Multivariable logistic regression models were fit for COST score and each variable, to determine factors associated with greater FB (COST < 21). RESULTS:Of 251 patients approached, 200 (80%) participated. The median age of the cohort was 65 years; 56% were female. The median total OOP ranged between $1000 and $5000 CAD. The median COST score was 21 (range, 0-44). FB was associated with age, with patients < 65 years reporting greater FB than older patients (COST, 18.0 vs. 24.0; P < .0001). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, younger age was associated with greater FB, when adjusting for income, employment status, OOP, and private insurance coverage (odds ratio, 3.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-9.1; P < .0001). CONCLUSION:Age is significantly associated with FB in the Canadian (Ontario) public health care system, with younger patients with lung cancer reporting greater financial distress. This study highlights priority patient populations where FB should be routinely assessed and appropriate resources for support offered.
PMID: 30797721
ISSN: 1938-0690
CID: 5007142

CNS Metastases in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Impact on Health Resource Utilization

Chooback, Negar; Lefresne, Shilo; Lau, Sally C; Ho, Cheryl
PURPOSE:Patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive (EGFRm) non-small-cell lung cancer commonly experience disease progression in the CNS. Here, we assess the impact of CNS disease on resource utilization and outcomes in patients who are EGFRm. METHODS:We completed a retrospective review of all advanced patients who were EGFRm, referred to BC Cancer, and treated with a first- and/or second-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor from 2010 to 2015. Baseline characteristics, systemic treatment, and CNS management were collected. We compared health resource utilization (HRU) between patients with CNS-negative disease and those with CNS metastases from the median time of CNS metastases diagnosis to death or last follow-up (9.1 months) and at 9 months preceding death or last follow-up for the CNS-negative group. RESULTS:Four hundred ninety-nine patients were referred, of which 68% were female; 51% were of Asian ethnicity; and 57%, 37%, and 6% were exon 19, 21, or other, respectively; with a median age of 66 years. Two hundred twenty-nine (46%) of 499 patients developed CNS metastases-39% at diagnosis and 61% over the course of disease. CNS metastases were managed with surgery with or without whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT; 13%) WBRT alone (73%), stereotactic radiosurgery with or without WBRT (5%), or no CNS-directed therapy (9%). The median time from the development of CNS metastases diagnosis to death was 9.1 months. CNS-negative patients used less HRU versus patients that were CNS-positive in the 9 months preceding death or last follow-up-in the average number of clinic visits (8.53 v 12.71, respectively; P < .001), hospitalizations (0.43 v 0.76, respectively; P < .001), CNS imaging investigations (0.52 v 2.65, respectively; P < .001), emergency room visits (0.03 v 0.14, respectively; P = .001), palliative care unit admission (8% v 10%, respectively; P = .64), and hospice admission (3% v 19%, respectively; P < .001). CONCLUSION:The incidence of CNS metastases in patients with EGFRm is high and associated with increased HRU. Prevention or delay of CNS metastases with newer systemic therapy options may translate into lower resource utilization.
PMID: 30216125
ISSN: 1935-469x
CID: 5007132