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Cancer Research and Treatment > Accepted Articles
doi: https://doi.org/10.4143/crt.2024.084    [Accepted]
Adjuvant Pembrolizumab in Patients with Stage IIIA/N2 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Completely Resected after Neoadjuvant Concurrent Chemoradiation: A Prospective, Open-Label, Single-Arm, Phase 2 Trial
Junghoon Shin1 , Sehhoon Park1 , Kyung Hwan Kim2,3, Eui-Cheol Shin3, Hyun Ae Jung1, Jong Ho Cho4, Jong-Mu Sun1, Se-Hoon Lee1, Yong Soo Choi4, Jin Seok Ahn1, Jhingook Kim4, Keunchil Park1, Young Mog Shim4, Hong Kwan Kim4, Jae Myoung Noh5, Yong Chan Ahn5, Hongryull Pyo5, Myung-Ju Ahn1
1Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Heavy Ion Therapy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
3Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea
4Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
5Department of Radiation Oncology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Myung-Ju Ahn ,Tel: 02-3410-3438, Fax: 02-3412-3996, Email: silkahn@skku.edu
Received: January 23, 2024;  Accepted: April 28, 2024.  Published online: April 30, 2024.
*Junghoon Shin and Sehhoon Park contributed equally to this work.
Optimal treatment for stage IIIA/N2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is controversial. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of adjuvant pembrolizumab for stage IIIA/N2 NSCLC completely resected after neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CCRT).
Materials and Methods
In this open-label, single-center, single-arm phase 2 trial, patients with stage IIIA/N2 NSCLC received adjuvant pembrolizumab for up to two years after complete resection following neoadjuvant CCRT. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS). Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS) and safety. As an exploratory biomarker analysis, we evaluated the proliferative response of blood CD39+PD-1+CD8+ T cells using fold changes in the percentage of proliferating Ki-67+ cells from days 1 to 7 of cycle 1 (Ki-67D7/D1).
Between October 2017 and October 2018, 37 patients were enrolled. Twelve (32%) and three (8%) patients harbored EGFR and ALK alterations, respectively. Of 34 patients with programmed cell death ligand 1 assessment, 21 (62%), 9 (26%), and 4 (12%) had a tumor proportion score of <1%, 1–50%, and ≥50%, respectively. The median follow-up was 71 months. The median DFS was 22.4 months in the overall population, with a five-year DFS rate of 29%. The OS rate was 86% at two years and 76% at five years. Patients with tumor recurrence within six months had a significantly lower Ki-67D7/D1 among CD39+PD-1+CD8+ T cells than those without (p=0.036). No new safety signals were identified.
Adjuvant pembrolizumab may offer durable disease control in a subset of stage IIIA/N2 NSCLC patients after neoadjuvant CCRT and surgery.
Key words: Non-small cell lung cancer, Pembrolizumab, Adjuvant drug therapy, Chemoradiotherapy
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