In a nutshell
This study compared the effectiveness and safety of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) between randomized and real-world studies in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or melanoma. The data showed that ICIs were similarly effective and safe in both randomized and real-world studies for these patients.
Melanoma is an aggressive type of skin cancer. It has a high tendency to spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer. It is responsible for around 85% of all lung cancer cases worldwide. Immunotherapy has been found to be effective in advanced NSCLC and melanoma.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a type of immunotherapy used to treat a wide variety of cancers. Tumor cells try to avoid death by switching off the immune system. ICIs work by blocking the off switch of the immune system. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is an ICI that works by inhibiting (blocking) PD-1, an important protein in the immune system. This inhibition triggers the immune system to attack tumor cells and kills them.
Both randomized controlled trials and real-world studies provide results regarding the effectiveness and safety of ICIs in cancer patients. However, in randomized clinical trials, patients are carefully selected to be fit and without additional medical conditions. It is important to compare the effectiveness and safety of ICIs between randomized and real-world studies in patients with advanced NSCLC or melanoma.
Methods & findings
This study analyzed 15 randomized controlled trials and 43 real-world studies including patients with advanced NSCLC or melanoma. All patients received treatment with ICIs.
There were no significant differences found in terms of average overall survival, average survival without cancer worsening, or rates of treatment discontinuation due to side effects between randomized and real-world studies.
A higher response rate (partial or complete disappearance of cancer cells) and a lower rate of side effects were found in some real-world studies.
The bottom line
This study concluded that ICIs were similarly effective and safe in both randomized and real-world studies for the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC or melanoma.
The fine print
This study did not include studies where immunotherapy was combined with chemotherapy or targeted therapies. The studies analyzed had differences in terms of patient-related and tumor characteristics.
Published By :
Aug 01, 2022