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Ref Type Journal Article
PMID (29395863)
Authors Giaccone G, Kim C, Thompson J, McGuire C, Kallakury B, Chahine JJ, Manning M, Mogg R, Blumenschein WM, Tan MT, Subramaniam DS, Liu SV, Kaplan IM, McCutcheon JN
Title Pembrolizumab in patients with thymic carcinoma: a single-arm, single-centre, phase 2 study.
Journal The Lancet. Oncology
Vol 19
Issue 3
Date 2018 03
Abstract Text Treatment options are limited for patients with thymic carcinoma. These aggressive tumours are not typically associated with paraneoplastic autoimmune disorders, and strong PD-L1 expression has been reported in thymic epithelial tumours. We aimed to assess the activity of pembrolizumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets PD-1, in patients with advanced thymic carcinoma.We completed a single-arm phase 2 study of pembrolizumab in patients with recurrent thymic carcinoma who had progressed after at least one line of chemotherapy. This was a single-centre study performed at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA. Key inclusion criteria were an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, no history of autoimmune disease or other malignancy requiring treatment or laboratory abnormality, and adequate organ function. Patients received 200 mg of pembrolizumab every 3 weeks for up to 2 years. The primary objective of the study was the proportion of patients who had achieved a response assessed with Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1. Analysis was per protocol, in all eligible patients. The study is registered with, number NCT02364076, and is closed to accrual; we report the final analysis.41 patients were enrolled from March 12, 2015, to Dec 16, 2016, of whom 40 were eligible and evaluable and one was excluded because of elevated liver enzymes at screening. The median follow-up was 20 months (IQR 14-26). The proportion of patients who achieved a response was 22·5% (95% CI 10·8-38·5); one (3%) patient achieved a complete response, eight (20%) patients achieved partial responses, and 21 (53%) patients achieved stable disease. The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were increased aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase (five [13%] patients each). Six (15%) patients developed severe autoimmune toxicity, including two (5%) patients with myocarditis. There were 17 deaths at the time of analysis, but no deaths due to toxicity.Pembrolizumab is a promising treatment option in patients with thymic carcinoma. Because severe autoimmune disorders are more frequent in thymic carcinoma than in other tumour types, careful monitoring is essential.Merck & Co.


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Molecular Profile Treatment Approach
Gene Name Source Synonyms Protein Domains Gene Description Gene Role
Therapy Name Drugs Efficacy Evidence Clinical Trials
Drug Name Trade Name Synonyms Drug Classes Drug Description
Gene Variant Impact Protein Effect Variant Description Associated with drug Resistance
Molecular Profile Indication/Tumor Type Response Type Therapy Name Approval Status Evidence Type Efficacy Evidence References
Unknown unknown thymic carcinoma no benefit Pembrolizumab Phase II Actionable In a Phase II trial, Keytruda (pembrolizumab) treatment resulted in an response rate of 22.5% (9/40, 1 complete response, 8 partial response), and stable disease in 53% (21/40) of patients with recurrent thymic carcinoma, however, severe immune toxicity was seen in 15% (6/41) of the patients (PMID: 29395863; NCT02364076). 29395863