A study found patients with lung cancer can benefit from immunotherapy even if the cancer has progressed as indicated by standard criteria.
The study protocol allowed patients to continue atezolizumab treatment if they had not progressed according to immune-related RECIST and had no major toxicities, even if conventional RECIST indicated progression. The post hoc analysis evaluated overall survival and performance status in the 61 patients who continued atezolizumab after standard progression. The investigators found that the tumours in 82% of these patients subsequently stabilised or shrank. Median overall survival was 11.8 months and objective response rate increased when immune-related RECIST was used.
Artal-Cortes said: “We found that there was a benefit for some patients continuing with the drug even after a CT scan suggested progressive disease. Atezolizumab can control lung cancer for a longer period of time than was initially thought. Patients who were maintained on atezolizumab had no major increase in toxic side-effects since most of these occur in the first few months.”
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