(Denver - November 28, 2023) — Based on results from the CheckMate743 trial, the dual regimen of ipilimumab and nivolumab is the standard of care for the treatment of unresectable pleural mesothelioma. But research published today in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO) showed that a group of Australian patients treated with that immunotherapy combination experienced higher levels of toxicity than were reported in the clinical trial results. The study is available here: https://www.jto.org/article/S1556-0864(23)02370-5/fulltext.
JTO is the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-associated diseases, and mesothelioma remains an area of unmet need with a five-year overall survival (OS) rate of 10%.
First-line immunotherapy with ipilimumab and nivolumab is now a standard of care for resectable pleural mesothelioma following the CheckMate743 (CM743) trial, with supportive data from the later-line single-arm MAPS2 trial. RIOMeso examines the survival and toxicity of this regimen in real-world practice.
Dr. Ned McNamee of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre & St. Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, Australia, and fellow researchers retrospectively collected demographic and clinicopathological data from 119 Australian patients across 11 medical centers who underwent treatment with ipilimumab and nivolumab in both first-line and subsequent settings for pleural mesothelioma. Survival outcomes were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method, and toxicity was evaluated through the CTCAE v5.0.
The median age was 72, 83% were male, 92% were ECOG ≤1, 50% were past or current smokers, and 78% had known asbestos exposure. 50% were epithelioid, 19% sarcomatoid, 14% biphasic, and 17% unavailable. Ipilimumab and nivolumab were used in first-line therapy in 75% of patients.
- Median overall survival (mOS) for the entire cohort was 14.5 months.
- First-line use of ipilimumab and nivolumab was observed in 75% of patients.
- Patients treated in the second or later-line had a mOS of 15.4 months.
- No statistically significant difference in mOS was found between epithelioid and non-epithelioid histology.
- Approximately 24% of patients experienced CTCAE grade ≥ 3 adverse events, with colitis being the most frequent.
The RIOMeso study marks a significant milestone as the first detailed report of real-world survival and toxicity outcomes in Australian patients undergoing ipilimumab and nivolumab treatment for pleural mesothelioma., according to Dr. McNamee.
The findings suggest that, in real-world practice, combination immunotherapy may have poorer survival outcomes and appear more toxic compared with clinical trial data, emphasizing the importance of understanding the treatment landscape beyond controlled trial settings.
However, Dr. McNamee urged caution in interpreting these results.
“There is certainly survival benefit of the Checkmate743 regimen over chemotherapy, especially in the non-epithelioid group; however, perhaps there is more equipoise in epithelioid patients. Careful patient selection may mitigate some of the risk of toxicity, but our study demonstrates that the non-chemotherapy option is not necessarily less toxic,” he said.
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 10,000 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit www.iaslc.org for more information.
About the JTO
Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO), the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, is the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. JTO emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach and includes original research reviews and opinion pieces. The audience includes epidemiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and research scientists with a special interest in thoracic oncology.