FDA Approves Frontline Atezolizumab Plus Carboplatin/Nab-Paclitaxel for Lung Cancer Subset

GINA COLUMBUS @ginacolumbusonc
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
The FDA has approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with carboplatin and nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) for the first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who do not harbor EGFR or ALK molecular aberrations.1

The approval was based on data from the phase III IMpower130 study, which showed that the combination of atezolizumab/chemotherapy led to a median overall survival (OS) of 18.6 months compared with 13.9 months for chemotherapy alone in the intent-to-treat (ITT)–wild-type (WT) population (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.64-0.98; P = .033).2 Additionally, the safety profile for the atezolizumab regimen was consistent with the known safety profiles of each therapy alone, and no new safety signals were identified. Grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were reported in 73.2% and 60.3% of patients on the atezolizumab arm and chemotherapy-alone arm, respectively.

"We are pleased to offer this Tecentriq-based combination as a new treatment option that can provide a clinically meaningful survival benefit for people with nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer," Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development, Roche (Genentech), the developer of the PD-L1 inhibitor, stated in a press release. "Today’s approval offers another opportunity to help prolong the lives of people with this type of the disease."

In August 2019, Roche reported in a press release that the FDA had extended the review period for the supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for the frontline atezolizumab/chemotherapy regimen for patients with metastatic NSCLC who do not have EGFR or ALK aberrations.  The extension was designed to allow ample time for the FDA to review additional information it requested for the application. The FDA had granted a priority review to the sBLA in January 2019, based on findings from the phase III IMpower130 trial.

In the multicenter, open-label, randomized IMpower130 study, patients were randomized 2:1 to receive the atezolizumab triplet as induction therapy followed by maintenance atezolizumab, or chemotherapy alone followed by best supportive care or pemetrexed every 3 weeks as maintenance. Atezolizumab was administered until investigator-assessed loss of clinical benefit or toxicity, while chemotherapy was given until progressive disease or toxicity. Stratification factors included gender, baseline liver metastases, and PD-L1 expression.

The co-primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) as assessed by investigator using RECIST v1.1 in patients with EGFR or ALK mutations in the ITT-WT population, and OS in the ITT-WT population.

Findings of the interim analysis, which were presented at the 2018 ESMO Congress, showed that the atezolizumab arm was superior in OS in the ITT-WT population. The median OS was 18.6 months (95% CI, 16.0-21.2) versus 13.9 months (95% CI, 12.0-18.7) with carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel alone (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.64-0.98; P = .033). The 1- and 2-year OS rates with atezolizumab were 63.1% and 39.6% versus 55.5% and 30.0% in the carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel arm.

Additionally, there was also an improvement in PFS with the atezolizumab combination; the median PFS was 7.0 months (95% CI, 6.2-7.3) and 5.5 months (95% CI, 4.4-5.9) for carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel alone (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.54-0.77; P<.0001). The 6- and 12-month PFS rates also favored the atezolizumab arm at 56.1% and 29.1% versus 42.5% and 14.1% with chemotherapy.

Overall response rate (ORR) and median duration of response was 49.2% and 8.4 months (6.9-11.8) with the atezolizumab regimen versus 31.9% and 6.1 months (5.5-7.9) with chemotherapy (P = .0004). In the atezolizumab arm, the ORR consisted of a 2.5% complete response rate, 46.8% partial response rate, 30.4% stable disease rate, and 11% progressive disease rate. Responses were ongoing in 36.8% of patients on atezolizumab and 19.4% on chemotherapy.

The PFS benefit was observed across all prespecified subgroups, except for those with liver metastases (HR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.59-1.47); this group also did not experience an OS benefit (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.63-1.72).

Investigator-assessed PFS and OSS in the ITT population were similar to the ITT-WT population, with a median PFS of 7.0 months for atezolizumab and 5.6 months for carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.54-0.77; P <.0001). The 6- and 12-month PFS rates were 56.4% and 28.9% with atezolizumab and 42.9% and 14.2% for chemotherapy.

The median OS for the ITT group for atezolizumab and chemotherapy was 18.1 months and 13.9 months, respectively (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.65-0.99; P = .039). Additionally, the 1- and 2-year OS rates in this group were 62.7% and 39.3% on the atezolizumab arm and 55.1% and 29.9% with carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel.

The PFS and OS benefits varied in the EGFR/ALK-positive subgroups; the median PFS was 7.0 months and 6.0 months with atezolizumab and carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel alone (HR, 0.75; 95% CI 0.36-1.54), respectively; median OS was 14.4 months and 10.0 months (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.41-2.31).

PFS data were also reported by levels of high, low, and negative PD-L1 expression: high (6.4 vs 4.6 months; HR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.34-0.77), low (8.3 vs 6.0 months; HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.43-0.85), and negative (6.2 vs 4.7 months; HR, 0.72; 0.56-0.91). For OS, the benefit was similar: high (17.3 vs 16.9 months; HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.51-1.39), low (23.7 vs 15.9 months; HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.45-1.08) and negative (15.2 vs 12.0 months; HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.61-1.08).


1. FDA approves Genentech’s Tecentriq plus chemotherapy (Abraxane and carboplatin) for the initial treatment of metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Genentech (Roche). Published December 3, 2019. https://bit.ly/33Hixpz. Accessed December 3, 2019. 
2. Cappuzzo F, McCleod M, Hussein M, et al. IMpower130: progression-free survival (PFS) and safety analysis from a randomised phase 3 study of carboplatin + nab-paclitaxel (CnP) with or without atezolizumab (atezo) as first-line (1L) therapy in advanced non-squamous NSCLC. Ann Oncol. 2018;29(supp 8, abstr LBA53). doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy424.065.

This article was originally published on OncLive as, "FDA Approves Frontline Atezolizumab Plus Carboplatin/Nab-Paclitaxel for Nonsquamous NSCLC." 

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