Comparative efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors versus chemotherapy alone in diffuse pleural mesothelioma

Thoracic Cancer 2024 June 5 [Link]

Xuemei Zhang, Lele Chang, Qian Ma, Qian Zhang, Wansu Xu, Qingwei Li


Background: This study aimed to investigate the effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) versus chemotherapy on the prognosis of real-world diffuse pleural mesothelioma patients in China.

Methods: Clinical data of 90 patients with diffuse pleural mesothelioma from 2019 to 2022 were collected from Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital. Patients were divided into two groups: the ICIs-treated group (n = 46) and the chemotherapy-only group (n = 44). The efficacy and safety of immunotherapy relative to chemotherapy at different treatment stages were explored.

Results: The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 10.0 and 7.0 months, and the median overall survival (OS) was 24.7 and 15.8 months in the ICIs-treated group and the chemotherapy group, respectively. The ICIs-treated group showed an 11% increase in objective response rate (ORR) (52.2% vs. 41.0%) and an 8.0% increase in disease control rate (DCR) (78.3% vs. 70.0%) compared to the chemotherapy group. The Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated significant PFS (HR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.38-0.98; p = 0.038) and OS (HR: 0.47; 95% CI: 0.26-0.86; p = 0.011) benefits of receiving immunotherapy over chemotherapy alone. Subgroup analysis according to treatment timing showed the same trend.

Conclusion: In patients with nonsurgical diffuse pleural mesothelioma, immunotherapy achieved better survival benefits compared to chemotherapy in both first- and second-/third-line treatments. The early addition of immunotherapy improved survival in patients with nonsurgical diffuse pleural mesothelioma.