Conference Coverage

Sintilimab scintillates in first-line nonsquamous NSCLC


Comparison with pembrolizumab

In her discussion, Dr. Nagasaka said that the first question that came to mind when she saw the results was: “How does the ORIENT-11 data compare with KEYNOTE-189?”

For that study, pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) was added to pemetrexed plus carboplatin chemotherapy and compared with standard of care alone in patients with untreated metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC.

As reported by Medscape Medical News, pembrolizumab was associated with a 48% reduced risk of disease progression, as well as improved overall survival.

Dr. Nagasaka said that ORIENT-11 “had patients that tended to be younger, there were more males, more with performance status 1, and those who had never smoked” than those in KEYNOTE-189.

“But most importantly, KEYNOTE-189 had a very small number of patients from East Asia, only 1% in the pembro arm and 2.9% in the placebo arm.”

In contrast, all the patients included in ORIENT-11 were from East Asia, making the study of “high importance.”

She added that, “while across-trial comparisons must be taken with caution, the medium PFS of ORIENT-11 ... appears comparable to those of KEYNOTE-189,” while the HR “appears identical.”

This is despite median follow-up time in ORIENT-11 of “only” 8.9 months vs. a median of 23.1 months in the updated KEYNOTE-189 data.

There are plans to register the sintilimab combination therapy in China for the treatment of nonsquamous NSCLC, where it will go up against pembrolizumab as well as, potentially, tislelizumab (BeiGene).

The study was sponsored by Innovent Biologics and Eli Lilly. Dr. Zhang disclosed research grants from Eli Lilly and Pfizer. Dr. Nagasaka disclosed serving on the advisory boards of AstraZeneca, Daiichi Sankyo, Takeda, Novartis, and EMD Serono; as a consultant for Caris Life Sciences; and receiving travel support from An Hearts Therapeutics.

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