WILMINGTON, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Updated results from the positive PACIFIC Phase III trial showed AstraZeneca’s IMFINZI® (durvalumab) demonstrated a sustained, clinically meaningful overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) benefit at five years in patients with unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had not progressed following concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CRT).
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the US, accounting for about a quarter of all cancer deaths, and 80-85% of patients with lung cancer have NSCLC.1 One in four patients with NSCLC are diagnosed at Stage III, where the majority of tumors are unresectable (cannot be removed with surgery).2-3 The approval of IMFINZI in this setting, based on the results of this trial, was the first new treatment to be available to these patients in decades.4-6
Results from the updated post-hoc analyses showed an estimated five-year OS rate of 42.9% for patients treated with IMFINZI versus 33.4% for those on placebo after CRT. Median OS was 47.5 months for IMFINZI versus 29.1 for placebo. Following a maximum treatment course of one year, an estimated 33.1% of patients treated with IMFINZI had not progressed five years after enrollment versus 19% for placebo. These results build on the primary PFS and OS analyses published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2017 and 2018, which demonstrated a sustained, significant benefit with IMFINZI for these primary endpoints.7,8
David Spigel, MD, Chief Scientific Officer at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, and investigator in the PACIFIC trial, said: “This trial has once again set a new precedent in the treatment of patients with unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer. Historically, only 15-30% of these patients survived five years but these results show that with up to one year of treatment with IMFINZI, an estimated 43% of patients are still alive at five years. Moreover, three quarters of these patients had also not progressed in that time. This is a momentous achievement at the five-year landmark in this curative-intent setting.”
Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology Business Unit, said: “Five-year survival is a clinically significant and emotionally meaningful milestone for people with cancer and their families, and it’s incredible to see the majority of patients surviving that long have not progressed four years after completing treatment. These results – the first of their kind in Stage III unresectable lung cancer – reinforce the long-term benefit of IMFINZI as the established standard of care in this curative-intent setting. With trials like PACIFIC and our comprehensive development program in early-stage disease across cancer settings, our strategy is to improve cancer outcomes by treating patients as early as possible, aiming to deliver life-changing treatments that increase the potential for cure.”
In the primary OS analysis of the PACIFIC Phase III trial, the most common adverse events (AEs) (greater than or equal to 20%) among patients treated with IMFINZI versus placebo were cough (35.2% versus 25.2%), fatigue (24.0% versus 20.5%), dyspnea (22.3% versus 23.9%) and radiation pneumonitis (20.2% versus 15.8%). A grade 3 or 4 AE was experienced by 30.5% of patients treated with IMFINZI versus 26.1% for placebo, and 15.4% of patients discontinued treatment due to AEs with IMFINZI versus 9.8% for placebo.8
These results were presented on June 4 during the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
Important Safety Information
There are no contraindications for IMFINZI® (durvalumab).
Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
Important immune-mediated adverse reactions listed under Warnings and Precautions may not include all possible severe and fatal immune-mediated reactions. Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue. Immune-mediated adverse reactions can occur at any time after starting treatment or after discontinuation. Monitor patients closely for symptoms and signs that may be clinical manifestations of underlying immune-mediated adverse reactions. Evaluate liver enzymes, creatinine, and thyroid function at baseline and periodically during treatment. In cases of suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, initiate appropriate workup to exclude alternative etiologies, including infection. Institute medical management promptly, including specialty consultation as appropriate. Withhold or permanently discontinue IMFINZI depending on severity. See Dosing and Administration for specific details. In general, if IMFINZI requires interruption or discontinuation, administer systemic corticosteroid therapy (1 mg to 2 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) until improvement to Grade 1 or less. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Consider administration of other systemic immunosuppressants in patients whose immune-mediated adverse reactions are not controlled with corticosteroid therapy.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis. The incidence of pneumonitis is higher in patients who have received prior thoracic radiation. In patients who did not receive recent prior radiation, the incidence of immune-mediated pneumonitis was 2.0% (28/1414), including fatal (<0.1%), and Grade 3-4 (0.4%) adverse reactions. In patients who received recent prior radiation, the incidence of pneumonitis (including radiation pneumonitis) in patients with unresectable Stage III NSCLC following definitive chemoradiation within 42 days prior to initiation of IMFINZI in PACIFIC was 16.6% (79/475) in patients receiving IMFINZI and 13.2% (31/234) in patients receiving placebo. Of the 79 patients who received IMFINZI, 1.1% were fatal and 2.5% were Grade 3-4 adverse reactions. The frequency and severity of immune-mediated pneumonitis in patients who did not receive definitive chemoradiation prior to IMFINZI were similar in patients who received IMFINZI as a single agent or with ES-SCLC when in combination with chemotherapy.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated colitis that is frequently associated with diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies. Immune-mediated colitis occurred in 1.6% (31/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 4 (0.1%) and Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reactions.
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 1.0% (19/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including fatal (<0.1%) and Grade 3 (0.6%) adverse reactions.
- Adrenal Insufficiency: IMFINZI can cause primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency. For Grade 2 or higher adrenal insufficiency, initiate symptomatic treatment, including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Immune-mediated adrenal insufficiency occurred in 0.4% (7/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
- Hypophysitis: IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated hypophysitis. Hypophysitis can present with acute symptoms associated with mass effect such as headache, photophobia, or visual field cuts. Hypophysitis can cause hypopituitarism. Initiate symptomatic treatment including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Grade 3 hypophysitis/hypopituitarism occurred in <0.1% (1/1889) of patients who received IMFINZI.
- Thyroid Disorders: IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated thyroid disorders. Thyroiditis can present with or without endocrinopathy. Hypothyroidism can follow hyperthyroidism. Initiate hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism or institute medical management of hyperthyroidism as clinically indicated.
- Thyroiditis: Immune-mediated thyroiditis occurred in 0.4% (7/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
- Hyperthyroidism: Immune-mediated hyperthyroidism occurred in 1.4% (27/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
- Hypothyroidism: Immune-mediated hypothyroidism occurred in 7.3% (137/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (<0.1%) adverse reactions.
- Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, which can present with diabetic ketoacidosis: Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes. Initiate treatment with insulin as clinically indicated. Grade 3 immune-mediated type 1 diabetes mellitus occurred in <0.1% (1/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI.
Immune-Mediated Nephritis with Renal Dysfunction
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Immune-mediated nephritis occurred in 0.3% (5/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.1%) adverse reactions.
Immune-Mediated Dermatology Reactions
IMFINZI can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis. Exfoliative dermatitis, including Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), have occurred with PD-1/L-1 blocking antibodies. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate non-exfoliative rashes. Immune-mediated rash or dermatitis occurred in 1.6% (30/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.4%) adverse reactions.
Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
The following clinically significant, immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred at an incidence of less than 1% each in patients who received IMFINZI or were reported with the use of other PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies.
- Cardiac/vascular: Myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis.
- Nervous system: Meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis and demyelination, myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis (including exacerbation), Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve paresis, autoimmune neuropathy.
- Ocular: Uveitis, iritis, and other ocular inflammatory toxicities can occur. Some cases can be associated with retinal detachment. Various grades of visual impairment to include blindness can occur. If uveitis occurs in combination with other immune-mediated adverse reactions, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome, as this may require treatment with systemic steroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.
- Gastrointestinal: Pancreatitis including increases in serum amylase and lipase levels, gastritis, duodenitis.
- Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders:Myositis/polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis and associated sequelae including renal failure, arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic.
- Endocrine: Hypoparathyroidism
- Other (hematologic/immune): Hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), sarcoidosis, immune thrombocytopenia, solid organ transplant rejection.
IMFINZI can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions. Monitor for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions. Interrupt, slow the rate of, or permanently discontinue IMFINZI based on the severity. See Dosing and Administration for specific details. For Grade 1 or 2 infusion-related reactions, consider using pre-medications with subsequent doses. Infusion-related reactions occurred in 2.2% (42/1889) of patients receiving IMFINZI, including Grade 3 (0.3%) adverse reactions.
Complications of Allogeneic HSCT after IMFINZI
Fatal and other serious complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) before or after being treated with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody. Transplant-related complications include hyperacute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced intensity conditioning, and steroid-requiring febrile syndrome (without an identified infectious cause). These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1/L-1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT. Follow patients closely for evidence of transplant-related complications and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit versus risks of treatment with a PD-1/L-1 blocking antibody prior to or after an allogeneic HSCT.
Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal studies, IMFINZI can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with IMFINZI and for at least 3 months after the last dose of IMFINZI.
There is no information regarding the presence of IMFINZI in human milk; however, because of the potential for adverse reactions in breastfed infants from IMFINZI, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose.
- In patients with Stage III NSCLC in the PACIFIC study receiving IMFINZI (n=475), the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were cough (40%), fatigue (34%), pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis (34%), upper respiratory tract infections (26%), dyspnea (25%), and rash (23%). The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions (≥3%) were pneumonitis/radiation pneumonitis (3.4%) and pneumonia (7%)
- In patients with Stage III NSCLC in the PACIFIC study receiving IMFINZI (n=475), discontinuation due to adverse reactions occurred in 15% of patients in the IMFINZI arm. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 29% of patients receiving IMFINZI. The most frequent serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis (7%) and pneumonia (6%). Fatal pneumonitis or radiation pneumonitis and fatal pneumonia occurred in <2% of patients and were similar across arms
- In patients with extensive-stage SCLC in the CASPIAN study receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy (n=265), the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were nausea, fatigue/asthenia, and alopecia. The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reaction (≥3%) was fatigue/asthenia (3.4%)
- In patients with extensive-stage SCLC in the CASPIAN study receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy (n=265), IMFINZI was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 7% of the patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 31% of patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in at least 1% of patients were febrile neutropenia (4.5%), pneumonia (2.3%), anemia (1.9%), pancytopenia (1.5%), pneumonitis (1.1%), and COPD (1.1%). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.9% of patients receiving IMFINZI plus chemotherapy
The safety and effectiveness of IMFINZI have not been established in pediatric patients.
IMFINZI is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has not progressed following concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
IMFINZI, in combination with etoposide and either carboplatin or cisplatin, is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).
Please see complete Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Stage III NSCLC
In 2021, an estimated 235,760 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.1 Lung cancer is broadly split into NSCLC and small cell lung cancer, with 80-85% classified as NSCLC.1 Approximately one in four patients with NSCLC in the United States present with Stage III disease, which is estimated to affect over 43,000 patients.2 The majority of Stage III NSCLC patients are diagnosed with unresectable tumors.3
Stage III (locally advanced) NSCLC is divided into three sub-categories (IIIA, IIIB and IIIC), defined by how much the cancer has spread locally and the possibility of surgery.7 In contrast to Stage IV, when cancer has spread (metastasised) to distant organs, Stage III is currently treated with curative intent.9,10
The PACIFIC trial was a Phase III, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial of IMFINZI as treatment in “all-comer’” patients (regardless of PD-L1 status) with unresectable Stage III NSCLC whose disease had not progressed following concurrent platinum-based CRT.
The trial was conducted at 235 centers across 26 countries involving 713 patients. The primary endpoints of the trial were PFS and OS, and secondary endpoints included landmark PFS and OS, objective response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DoR).
About IMFINZI® (durvalumab)
IMFINZI is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to PD-L1 and blocks the interaction of PD-L1 with PD-1 and CD80, countering the tumor’s immune-evading tactics and releasing the inhibition of immune responses.
In addition to approvals in the unresectable Stage III NSCLC setting, IMFINZI is approved for the treatment of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) based on the CASPIAN Phase III trial in the EU, US, Japan and many other countries around the world. IMFINZI is also approved for previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer in several countries.
As part of a broad development program, IMFINZI is being tested as a single treatment and in combinations with other anti-cancer treatments for patients with NSCLC, SCLC, bladder cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, biliary tract cancer (a form of liver cancer), esophageal cancer, gastric and gastroesophageal cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and other solid tumors.
Tremelimumab is a human monoclonal antibody and potential new medicine that targets the activity of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4). Tremelimumab blocks the activity of CTLA-4, contributing to T cell activation, priming the immune response to cancer and fostering cancer cell death. Tremelimumab is being tested in a clinical trial program in combination with IMFINZI in NSCLC, SCLC, bladder cancer and liver cancer.
About AstraZeneca Support Programs
AstraZeneca strives to ensure that appropriate patients and their oncologists have access to IMFINZI and relevant support resources. These include educational resources, an Oncology Nurse Educator program and affordability and reimbursement programs, such as Access 360™.
Additionally, AstraZeneca has launched Lighthouse, a program that provides support to patients during any immune-mediated adverse events they may encounter during treatment, through medically trained Lighthouse Advocates. The program aims to make patients’ treatment experience as comfortable as possible. Find out more about Lighthouse at LighthouseProgram.com or call 1-855-LHOUSE1 (1-855-546-8731).
About AstraZeneca in lung cancer
AstraZeneca is working to bring patients with lung cancer closer to cure through the detection and treatment of early-stage disease, while also pushing the boundaries of science to improve outcomes in resistant and advanced settings. By defining new therapeutic targets and investigating innovative approaches, the Company aims to match medicines to the patients who can benefit most.
The Company’s comprehensive portfolio includes leading lung cancer medicines and the next wave of innovations including osimertinib; durvalumab and tremelimumab; trastuzumab deruxtecan and datopotamab deruxtecan in collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo; and savolitinib in collaboration with HUTCHMED; as well as a pipeline of new medicines and combinations across diverse mechanisms of action.
AstraZeneca is a founding member of the Lung Ambition Alliance, a global coalition working to accelerate innovation and deliver meaningful improvements for people with lung cancer including and beyond treatment.
About AstraZeneca in Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy (IO) is a therapeutic approach designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack tumors. The Company’s IO portfolio is anchored in immunotherapies that have been designed to overcome anti-tumor immune suppression. AstraZeneca is invested in using IO approaches that deliver long-term survival for new groups of patients across tumor types.
AstraZeneca is pursuing a comprehensive clinical-trial program that includes IMFINZI as a single treatment and in combination with tremelimumab and other novel antibodies in multiple tumor types, stages of disease and lines of therapy, and where relevant using the PD-L1 biomarker as a decision-making tool to define the best potential treatment path for a patient. In addition, the ability to combine the IO portfolio with radiation, chemotherapy, and small, targeted molecules from across AstraZeneca’s Oncology pipeline and from research partners, may provide new treatment options across a broad range of tumors.
About AstraZeneca in oncology
AstraZeneca is leading a revolution in oncology with the ambition to provide cures for cancer in every form, following the science to understand cancer and all its complexities to discover, develop and deliver life-changing medicines to patients.
The Company’s focus is on some of the most challenging cancers. It is through persistent innovation that AstraZeneca has built one of the most diverse portfolios and pipelines in the industry, with the potential to catalyze changes in the practice of medicine and transform the patient experience.
AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer care and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory & Immunology. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca-us.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.
1. American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Lung Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed June 2021.
2. EpiCast Report: NSCLC Epidemiology Forecast to 2025. GlobalData. 2016. Available at https://store.globaldata.com/report/gdhcer132-16–epicast-report-non-small-cell-lung-cancer-nsclc-epidemiology-forecast-to-2025/. Accessed June 2021
3. Provencio M, et al. Inoperable Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Current Treatment and Role Of Vinorelbine. J Thorac Dis. 2011;3:197-204
4. Curran WJ, et al. Sequential vs Concurrent Chemoradiation for Stage III Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: Randomized Phase III Trial RTOG 9410. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011;103(19):1452–1460
5. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. Non-small cell lung cancer, version 4.2021. March 3.
6. Hanna N, et al. Current Standards and Clinical Trials in Systemic Therapy for Stage III Lung Cancer: What is New? Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2015;e442-447.
7. Anthonia SJ et al. Durvalumab after Chemoradiotherapy in Stage III Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2017;377:1919-1929.
8. Antonia SJ, et al. Overall Survival with Durvalumab after Chemoradiotherapy in Stage III NSCLC. N Engl J Med. 2018;379:2342-2350.
9. ASCO. Cancer.net. Lung Cancer – Non-Small Cell. Available at https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/lung-cancer-non-small-cell. Accessed June 2021.
10. Cheema PK, et al. Perspectives on Treatment Advances For Stage III Locally Advanced Unresectable Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Curr Oncol. 2019;26(1):37-42.
US-52747 Last Updated 6/21