Correlation of Radiation Pneumonitis History Before Nivolumab with Onset of Interstitial Lung Disease and Progression-free Survival of Patients with Pre-treated Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

Akihiro Tamiya, Motohiro Tamiya, Kenji Nakahama, Yoshihiko Taniguchi, Takayuki Shiroyama, Shun-Ichi Isa, Takako Inoue, Kyoichi Okishio, Kazumi Nishino, Toru Kumagai, Hidekazu Suzuki, Tomonori Hirashima, Fumio Imamura, Shinji Atagi
Anticancer Research 2017, 37 (9): 5199-5205

BACKGROUND/AIM: Nivolumab has a promising efficacy for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as second-line or later treatment, and after radiotherapy as abscopal effect. However, the effects of radiation pneumonitis history before nivolumab have not been clarified. Therefore, we retrospectively analyzed the correlation of a history of radiation pneumonitis before nivolumab with onset of interstitial lung disease (ILD) and progression-free survival (PFS) after nivolumab treatment in patients with previously treated NSCLC.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 201 patients treated with nivolumab were retrospectively reviewed. We collected clinical data of patients at the time of starting nivolumab and we evaluated ILD incidence and PFS in relation to patient characteristics, including radiation pneumonitis history.

RESULTS: The median age was 68 years; 135 patients were men, 157 had a smoking history, and 153 had performance status of 0 or 1. Thirty-four patients experienced radiation pneumonitis before nivolumab, and 50 patients received radiotherapy to the chest (31 patients received curative radiotherapy). The overall median PFS was 2.8 months and the overall ILD rate was 12.4%. Higher ILD incidence was observed in the group with a history of radiation pneumonitis (26.5%) compared to the group without radiation pneumonitis (9.6%). The median PFS was 3.6 and 2.3 months, respectively. On multivariate analysis, a history of radiation pneumonitis was also significantly correlated with good PFS (p=0.023).

CONCLUSION: Although increasing the risk of ILD, a history of radiation pneumonitis before nivolumab also contributes to the prolongation of PFS after nivolumab.


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