J. Clin. Oncol. 2018 Jun 15
Pembrolizumab for Patients With Refractory or Relapsed Thymic Epithelial Tumor: An Open-Label Phase II Trial.   
Purpose Limited treatment options exist for patients with thymic epithelial tumor (TET) whose disease progresses after platinum-based chemotherapy. We conducted a phase II study of pembrolizumab in patients with TET to evaluate its efficacy and safety. Methods Patients with histologically confirmed TET whose disease progressed after at least one line of platinum-based chemotherapy were eligible for the study. Patients were excluded if they had an active autoimmune disease requiring systemic treatment within the past year or documented history of clinically severe autoimmune disease. Patients received 200 mg of pembrolizumab intravenously every 3 weeks until tumor progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary objective of response rate was assessed every 9 weeks by investigators. Results Of 33 patients enrolled, 26 had thymic carcinoma and seven had thymoma. Of seven thymoma, two (28.6%; 95% CI, 8.2% to 64.1%) had partial response, and five (71.6%) had stable disease. Of 26 thymic carcinoma, five (19.2%; 95% CI, 8.5% to 37.9%) had partial response and 14 (53.8%) had stable disease. The median progression-free survival was 6.1 months for both groups. The most common adverse events of any grade included dyspnea (11; 33.3%), chest wall pain (10; 30.3%), anorexia (seven; 21.2%), and fatigue (seven; 21.2%). Five (71.4%) of seven patients with thymoma and four (15.4%) of 26 patients with thymic carcinoma reported grade ≥ 3 immune-related adverse events, including hepatitis (four; 12.1%), myocarditis (three; 9.1%), myasthenia gravis (two; 6.1%), thyroiditis (one; 3.0%), antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (one; 3.0%), colitis (one; 3.0%), and subacute myoclonus (one; 3.0%). Conclusions Pembrolizumab showed encouraging antitumor activity in patients with advanced TET. Given the high incidence of autoimmunity, additional studies are needed to identify those who can benefit from pembrolizumab without immune-related adverse events.

Related Questions

What if the patient has thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis?