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Organ-Specific Tumor Response to Pembrolizumab in Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma After Platinum-Based Chemotherapy

Authors Furubayashi N, Negishi T, Sakamoto N, Shimokawa H, Morokuma F, Song Y, Hori Y, Tomoda T, Tokuda N, Seki N, Kuroiwa K, Nakamura M

Received 30 December 2020

Accepted for publication 5 March 2021

Published 18 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1981—1988


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Alberto Bongiovanni

Nobuki Furubayashi,1 Takahito Negishi,1 Naotaka Sakamoto,2 Hozumi Shimokawa,3 Futoshi Morokuma,4 Yoohyun Song,5 Yoshifumi Hori,6 Toshihisa Tomoda,7 Noriaki Tokuda,4 Narihito Seki,5 Kentaro Kuroiwa,6 Motonobu Nakamura1

1Department of Urology, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Cancer Center, Fukuoka, Japan; 2Department of Urology, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Medical Center, Fukuoka, Japan; 3Department of Medical Oncology, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Medical Center, Fukuoka, Japan; 4Department of Urology, Saga-ken Medical Centre Koseikan, Saga, Japan; 5Department of Urology, Kyushu Central Hospital of the Mutual Aid Association of Public School Teachers, Fukuoka, Japan; 6Department of Urology, Miyazaki Prefectural Miyazaki Hospital, Miyazaki, Japan; 7Department of Urology, Oita Prefectural Hospital, Oita, Japan

Correspondence: Nobuki Furubayashi
Department of Urology, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Cancer Center, Notame 3-1-1, Minami-Ku, Fukuoka, 811-1395, Japan
Tel +81-92-541-3231
Fax +81-92-551-4585
Email [email protected]

Background: To evaluate the organ-specific therapeutic effect of pembrolizumab after the failure of platinum-based chemotherapy for advanced urothelial carcinoma (UC).
Materials and Methods: Patients with advanced UC who received pembrolizumab after the failure of platinum-based chemotherapy and who had measurable disease were retrospectively analyzed. The objective response rate (ORR) and organ-specific response rate (OSRR) were evaluated according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1.
Results: We analyzed 69 patients (male, n=51; median age, 71 years) with 226 metastases. The ORR was 23.2%. In total, 32, 31, 16, 14, 13 and 7 patients had measurable lung (OSSR 31.3%), lymph node (OSSR 29.0%), local recurrence (OSSR 12.5%), primary tumor organ (OSSR 7.1%), liver (OSSR 23.1%) and bone (OSSR 28.6%) disease, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) for pembrolizumab was 10.9 months (95% confidence interval, 5.9‑13.7 months). Regarding organ-specific OS, a Log rank test significant differences in OS were confirmed between patients with and without primary tumor organ disease (p=0.046) and liver metastasis (p< 0.001).
Conclusion: Metastases and primary tumor organ disease showed different tumor responses to pembrolizumab. The most prominent tumor response was found in lung metastasis and the least response was found in primary organ sites. The mechanisms of these different responses were unclear and there does not appear to be a constant trend between tumor shrinkage and OS in tumor sites. Further studies are needed.

Keywords: urothelial carcinoma, platinum-based chemotherapy, pembrolizumab, organ-specific response rate, tumor microenvironment

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