Completion of Pembrolizumab in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer—Real World Outcomes After Two Years of Therapy (COPILOT)

Andrew Fantoni, Lydia Warburton, Benjamin Solomon, Marliese Alexander, Meghana Maddula, Lauren Julia Brown, Ines Pires da Silva, Adnan Nagrial, Farah Abu Al-Hial, Malinda Itchins, Nick Pavlakis, Samantha Bowyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Seminal trials with first-line pembrolizumab for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) mandated a maximum two-years treatment. We describe real-world outcomes of a multi-site Australian cohort of patients who completed two-years of pembrolizumab. Methods: Retrospective data were collected from the national AUstralian Registry and biObank of thoRacic cAncers (AURORA). Primary endpoints were progression rate post pembrolizumab discontinuation; and progression free survival (PFS). Local treatment of oligoprogressive disease during pembrolizumab was allowed. Results: A total of 71 patients from six centers, median age 66.0 years, 49% male and 90% ECOG ≤ 1 were identified. Patients were Caucasian (82%) or Asian (16%); past (66%) or current (24%) smokers with mean 37 pack-years. Histology comprised 73% adenocarcinoma and 16% squamous. 18 patients (25%) had brain metastases at diagnosis. Median PD-L1 tumor proportion score (TPS) was 68%; 12 patients (17%) TPS < 1% and 43 (61%) TPS ≥ 50%. No patients had EGFR/ALK/ROS1 alterations; 29/49 tested (60%) had KRAS mutations. Median follow up was 38.7 months. Objective response rate 78.6%. Median PFS 46.1 months (95% CI 39.5-NR), not reached (46.1-NR) in PD-L1 TPS ≥ 1% versus 28.1 months (16.3-NR) in TPS < 1% (P = .013). 17 patients (24%) received additional local therapy for oligoprogression. Post pembrolizumab discontinuation, 20 patients (28%) had disease progression. Higher rates of progression occurred with TPS < 1% (OR 3.46, P = .06), without complete response (OR 5.06, P = .04), and with treated oligoprogression (OR 3.11, P = .05). 36-month landmark survival was 98.2%. Conclusion: Patients completing two-years of pembrolizumab for NSCLC in an Australian cohort had high rates of KRAS mutation and PD-L1 expression; a proportion had brain metastases and treated oligoprogression. Progression post pembrolizumab was higher in PD-L1 TPS < 1% and in those without complete response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-459
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Lung Cancer
Issue number5
Early online date15 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024


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