A real-world study of pneumonitis in non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving durvalumab following concurrent chemoradiation

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Background: Locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) treated with the programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitor durvalumab has been associated with significant rates of pneumonitis, which has led to higher rates of discontinuation of therapy in real-world populations. Thus far there has been no consensus in the literature on the impact of pneumonitis on survival. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of veterans receiving durvalumab between 12/5/2017 and 4/15/2020. Participants were identified using VINCI data services. Patients were followed through 9/14/2021. Development of clinical pneumonitis was assessed through review of documentation and graded using CTCAE 4.0 criteria. Univariate logistic regression analysis evaluated for associations between body mass index (BMI), age, race, co-morbidity index, chemotherapy regimen, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) severity, and development of clinical pneumonitis. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier methods. Cox proportional hazards models were utilized to evaluate the association between risk of death at 1 and 2 years and candidate predictor variables. Results: A total of 284 patients were included in this study. Sixty-one patients developed clinically significant pneumonitis, 7 patients developed grade 5 pneumonitis (death from pneumonitis). The median OS in patients that developed pneumonitis was 27.8 vs. 36.9 months in patients that did not develop pneumonitis (P=0.22). BMI was found to be a clinical predictor of pneumonitis (P=0.04). COPD severity, race, age at durvalumab start date, chemotherapy regimen, and Romano comorbidity index were not significant predictors of pneumonitis. Cox proportional hazards analysis failed to demonstrate an association between the development of pneumonitis and risk of death in this population. Conclusions: The incidence of clinically significant pneumonitis is higher than noted in the PACIFIC trial in this cohort, however this high rate of pneumonitis does not have an impact on OS or PFS. Obesity was found to be a significant predictor of pneumonitis in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6427-6435
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Checkpoint inhibitors
  • chemoradiotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • toxicities


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