Analyses of PD-L1 and Inflammatory Gene Expression Association with Efficacy of Nivolumab ± Ipilimumab in Gastric Cancer/Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer.
de Braud, F
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Purpose In advanced gastric cancer/gastroesophageal junction cancer (GC/GEJC), there is a need to identify biomarkers of response to therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.Patients and methods In post hoc exploratory analyses from CheckMate 032 (GC/GEJC cohort), we evaluated associations between nivolumab ± ipilimumab (NIVO ± IPI) efficacy and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, defined by tumor cells (% TC) or combined positive score (CPS; sum of PD-L1-staining TCs + immune cells, divided by total viable TCs, × 100) using the Dako PD-L1 IHC 28-8 pharmDx assay, or inflammatory gene expression.Results There was a trend toward increased efficacy (objective response and overall survival) when PD-L1 expression was determined by CPS compared with % TC at higher cutoffs of ≥5 and ≥10 in the pooled analysis of all treatment regimens. In this analysis, 19% and 26% of patients with PD-L1-positive tumors at a CPS cutoff of ≥5 and ≥10, respectively, had an objective response compared with 8% and 9% of patients at the equivalent % TC cutoffs. Longer survival was demonstrated in patients with PD-L1-positive (defined by CPS cutoffs of ≥5 and ≥10) versus PD-L1-negative status. Similar results were observed in the NIVO 1 mg/kg + IPI 3 mg/kg subgroup. Multiple inflammatory gene signatures/transcripts, including a signature consisting of four genes ( CD274, CD8A, LAG3 , and STAT1 ), showed associations with response to NIVO ± IPI.Conclusions This study suggests a greater association of PD-L1 expression by CPS with NIVO ± IPI efficacy compared with % TC PD-L1 expression in patients with GC/GEJC. Inflammatory signatures were also associated with NIVO ± IPI response, warranting further investigation.
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Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2021