Characteristics of patients with EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer who benefited from immune checkpoint inhibitors

Eiki Ichihara, Daijiro Harada, Koji Inoue, Takuo Shibayama, Shinobu Hosokawa, Daizo Kishino, Shingo Harita, Nobuaki Ochi, Naohiro Oda, Naofumi Hara, Katsuyuki Hotta, Yoshinobu Maeda, Katsuyuki Kiura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are less effective in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. However, a small percentage of patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC do respond, and the characteristics of these patients are not known. Here, we identify the characteristics of patients who may respond to ICI therapy for EGFR-mutant NSCLC. Patients and methods: The medical records of NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations who received PD-1/PD-L1 antibody monotherapy at nine institutions were reviewed. Results: In total, 58 patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC were analyzed. Various clinical factors such as smoking history and EGFR mutation type were not associated with progression-free survival (PFS) of ICIs, while the PFS of prior EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) was inversely associated with that of ICIs. Patients who responded to prior EGFR TKIs for > 10 months exhibited a significantly shorter response to ICIs compared to those who had responded for ≤ 10 months (PFS of ICI: 1.6 vs. 1.9 months; hazard ratio: 2.54; 95% confidence interval 1.26–5.12; p = 0.009). However, patients who responded to ICIs for > 6 months responded to prior EGFR TKIs for significantly shorter periods compared to those who responded to ICIs for ≤ 6 months (PFS of prior EGFR TKI: 5.3 vs. 12.1 months; log-rank test: p = 0.0025). Conclusion: The duration of response to prior EGFR TKIs could be a predictive marker of ICI therapy in EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • EGFR
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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