Dr. Baas on Immunotherapy in Mesothelioma Subpopulations


Paul Baas, MD, PhD, discusses the benefits of immunotherapy in subpopulations of patients with mesothelioma. 

Paul Baas, MD, PhD, chief, Department of Thoracic Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, discusses the benefits of immunotherapy in subpopulations of patients with mesothelioma. 

The phase 3 CheckMate743 trial (NCT02899299) investigated frontline nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) vs chemotherapy in patients with unresectable pleural mesothelioma. In an updated 3-year analysis of these data, the median overall survival (OS) in patients with non-epithelioid histology who received the immunotherapy combination was 18.1 months vs 8.8 months in the chemotherapy arm.

Patients with non-epithelioid mesothelioma have historically demonstrated unfavorable OS rates, Baas says. Although OS improved slightly with the introduction of chemotherapy in this population, immunotherapy, as shown in CheckMate743, improved OS by 9.3 months, Baas explains. 

Immunotherapy is beneficial for patients with non-epithelioid mesothelioma and should be offered to patients who have no contraindications, Baas highlights. Although this OS benefit was slightly less pronounced in the epithelioid population, it was still favorable in this subgroup, Baas says. Overall, the patients studied in this trial showed interesting and encouraging survival rates, Baas concludes. 

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