Consensus on the use of immune-related response criteria to evaluate the efficacy of immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer

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Abstract

Introduction: Many methods used to assess the effectiveness of immune checkpoint (programmed death-ligand 1 or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4) inhibitors for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are insufficient, as the therapeutic benefit of these agents is often underestimated. Consequently, immune-related evaluation criteria have been developed to better reflect their efficacy. The aim of this consensus was to obtain the opinion of lung cancer experts on the adequacy of immune-response criteria for evaluating the efficacy of these treatments. Methods: Through two rounds of a modified Delphi consensus, 18 Spanish lung cancer experts participated in a 15-item questionnaire regarding the use of immunotherapies for NSCLC and the assessment criteria used to evaluate their effectiveness. Results: Consensus was achieved on 80% of the items in the questionnaire. The panelists agreed that although the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) are standard for the evaluation of solid tumors, immune-related response criteria would be useful for measuring the efficacy of immunotherapy. In addition, they considered that an overall survival (OS) rate at 2–5 years is the most useful end point for assessing the benefit of immunotherapy, as clinical benefit may extend beyond the RECIST criteria-defined progression of disease. Conclusions: Although immune-related response criteria have been developed to better evaluate the efficacy of immunotherapy, their use has not been validated and is restricted to investigational applications. However, they may prove to be a useful tool for measuring the efficacy of immunotherapy agents in NSCLC, especially the OS rate at 2–5 years.

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Provencio, M., Carcereny, E., & Artal. (2019). Consensus on the use of immune-related response criteria to evaluate the efficacy of immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer. Clinical and Translational Oncology, 21(11), 1464–1471. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-019-02072-4

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