Positive HRQoL results for pembrolizumab in advanced urothelial cancer
medwireNews: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) analyses from the KEYNOTE-045 phase III study show that pembrolizumab prolongs time to deterioration in previously treated patients with advanced urothelial cancer compared with chemotherapy.
A deterioration of at least 10 points in EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 global health status/QoL score occurred at a median 3.5 months in the 266 patients receiving pembrolizumab, compared with 2.3 months for the 253 patients receiving chemotherapy, giving a significant hazard ratio of 0.72.
Indeed, the researchers, led by David Vaughn (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA), found that global health status/QoL score remained stable or improved between baseline and week 15 among patients receiving pembrolizumab, increasing by an average of 0.69 points, from a baseline value of 61.5 points.
By contrast, HRQoL worsened in patients in the chemotherapy arm, with scores decreasing by 8.36 points, on average, from a baseline score of 59.2 points. This gave a significant difference of 9.05 points between the two treatment groups.
Pembrolizumab-treated patients experienced minimal changes in each domain of HRQoL, the team notes in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, “whereas patients in the chemotherapy arm experienced decrements in almost all subscales.”
These HRQoL benefits with pembrolizumab, together with previous findings of prolonged survival and a better safety profile compared with chemotherapy, “demonstrate the effectiveness of pembrolizumab in the three major areas that should be considered when selecting an optimal treatment,” the researchers point out.
They conclude: “These data support pembrolizumab as a new standard of care for platinum-refractory advanced urothelial cancer.”
By Lucy Piper
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