• The prognostic impact of tumor mutational burden (TMB) in the first-line management of advanced non-oncogene addicted non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC): a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

      Galvano, A; Gristina, V; Malapelle, U; Pisapia, P; Pepe, F; Barraco, N; Castiglia, M; Perez, A; Rolfo, C; Troncone, G; et al. (Elsevier Ltd., 2021-04-30)
      BACKGROUND: The role of tumor mutational burden (TMB) is still debated for selecting advanced non-oncogene addicted non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who might benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Of note, TMB failed to predict a benefit in overall survival (OS) among such patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The purpose of this meta-analysis was to compare efficacy outcomes among first-line immune-oncology (IO) agents versus standard platinum-based chemotherapy (CT) within two subgroups (TMB-low and TMB-high on either tissue or blood). We collected hazard ratios (HRs) to evaluate the association for progression-free survival (PFS) and OS, with the relative 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Risk ratios (RRs) were used as an association measure for objective response rate (ORR). RESULTS: Eight different cohorts of five randomized controlled phase III studies (3848 patients) were analyzed. In TMB-high patients, IO agents were associated with improved ORR (RRs 1.37, 95% CI 1.13-1.66), PFS (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.61-0.79) and OS (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.59-0.77) when compared with CT, thus suggesting a possible predictive role of high TMB for IO regimens. In TMB-low patients, the IO strategy did not lead to any significant benefit in survival and activity, whereas the pooled results of both ORR and PFS were intriguingly associated with a statistical significance in favor of CT. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis resulted in a proven benefit in OS in favor of IO agents in the TMB-high population. Although more prospective data are warranted, we postulated the hypothesis that monitoring TMB, in addition to the existing programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression level, could represent the preferable option for future clinical research in the first-line management of advanced non-oncogene addicted NSCLC patients.