Pembrolizumab versus paclitaxel for previously treated PD-L1-positive advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer: 2-year update of the randomized phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 trial

Charles S. Fuchs, Mustafa Özgüroğlu, Yung Jue Bang, Maria Di Bartolomeo, Mario Mandala, Min Hee Ryu, Lorenzo Fornaro, Tomasz Olesinski, Christian Caglevic, Hyun C. Chung, Kei Muro, Eric Van Cutsem, Anneli Elme, Peter Thuss-Patience, Ian Chau, Atsushi Ohtsu, Pooja Bhagia, Anran Wang, Chie Schin Shih, Kohei Shitara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In the phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 study (cutoff: 10/26/2017), pembrolizumab did not significantly prolong OS vs paclitaxel as second-line (2L) therapy in PD-L1 combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 1 gastric/GEJ cancer. We present results in CPS ≥ 1, ≥ 5, and ≥ 10 populations after two additional years of follow-up (cutoff: 10/07/2019). Methods: Patients were randomly allocated 1:1 to pembrolizumab 200 mg Q3W for ≤ 35 cycles or standard-dose paclitaxel. Primary endpoints: OS and PFS (CPS ≥ 1 population). HRs were calculated using stratified Cox proportional hazards models. Results: 366/395 patients (92.7%) with CPS ≥ 1 died. Pembrolizumab demonstrated a trend toward improved OS vs paclitaxel in the CPS ≥ 1 population (HR, 0.81); 24-month OS rates: 19.9% vs 8.5%. Pembrolizumab incrementally increased the OS benefit with PD-L1 enrichment (CPS ≥ 5: HR, 0.72, 24-month rate, 24.2% vs 8.8%; CPS ≥ 10: 0.69, 24-month rate, 32.1% vs 10.9%). There was no difference in median PFS among treatment groups (CPS ≥ 1: HR, 1.25; CPS ≥ 5: 0.98; CPS ≥ 10: 0.79). ORR (pembrolizumab vs paclitaxel) was 16.3% vs 13.6% (CPS ≥ 1), 20.0% vs 14.3% (CPS ≥ 5), and 24.5% vs 9.1% (CPS ≥ 10); median DOR was 19.1 months vs 5.2, 32.7 vs 4.8, and NR vs 6.9, respectively. Fewer treatment-related AEs (TRAEs) occurred with pembrolizumab than paclitaxel (53% vs 84%). Conclusion: In this long-term analysis, 2L pembrolizumab did not significantly improve OS but was associated with higher 24-month OS rates than paclitaxel. Pembrolizumab also increased OS benefit with PD-L1 enrichment among patients with PD-L1-positive gastric/GEJ cancer and led to fewer TRAEs than paclitaxel. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02370498.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalGastric Cancer
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Chemotherapy
  • Gastric cancer
  • Gastroesophageal junction cancer
  • Pembrolizumab

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