Authors: Ayers KL, Mullaney T, Zhou X, Liu JJ, Lee K, Ma M, Jones S, Li L, Redfern A, Jappe W, Liu Z, Goldsweig H, Yadav KK, Hahner N, Dietz M, Zimmerman M, Prentice T, Newman S, Veluswamy R, Wisnivesky J, Hirsch FR, Oh WK, Li SD, Schadt EE, Chen R
Background: Racial disparities among clinical trial participants present a challenge to assess whether trial results can be generalized into patients representing diverse races and ethnicities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of race and ethnicity on treatment response in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) treated with programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) or programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors through analysis of real-world data (RWD).
Materials and methods: A retrospective cohort study of 11,138 patients with lung cancer treated at hospitals within the Mount Sinai Health System was performed. Patients with confirmed aNSCLC who received anti-PD-1/PD-L1 treatment were analyzed for clinical outcomes. Our cohort included 249 patients with aNSCLC who began nivolumab, pembrolizumab, or atezolizumab treatment between November 2014 and December 2018. Time-to-treatment discontinuation (TTD) and overall survival (OS) were the analyzed clinical endpoints.
Results: After a median follow-up of 14.8 months, median TTD was 7.8 months (95% confidence interval, 5.4-not estimable [NE]) in 75 African American patients versus 4.6 (2.4-7.2) in 110 White patients (hazard ratio [HR], 0.63). Median OS was not reached (18.4-NE) in African American patients versus 11.6 months (9.7-NE) in White patients (HR, 0.58). Multivariable Cox regression conducted with potential confounders confirmed longer TTD (adjusted HR, 0.65) and OS (adjusted HR, 0.60) in African American versus White patients. Similar real-world response rate (42.6% vs. 43.5%) and disease control rate (59.6% vs. 56.5%) were observed in the African American and White patient populations. Further investigation revealed the African American patient group had lower incidence (14.7%) of putative hyperprogressive diseases (HPD) upon anti-PD-1/PD-L1 treatment than the White patient group (24.5%).
Conclusion: Analysis of RWD showed longer TTD and OS in African American patients with aNSCLC treated with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors. Lower incidence of putative HPD is a possible reason for the favorable outcomes in this patient population.
Implications for practice: There is a significant underrepresentation of minority patients in randomized clinical trials, and this study demonstrates that real-world data can be used to investigate the impact of race and ethnicity on treatment response. In retrospective analysis of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer treated with programmed cell death-1 or programmed cell death-ligand 1 inhibitors, African American patients had significantly longer time-to-treatment discontinuation and longer overall survival. Analysis of real-world data can yield clinical insights and establish a more complete picture of medical interventions in routine clinical practice.