Evaluating pneumonitis incidence in patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with immunotherapy and/or chemotherapy using real-world and clinical trial data


Pneumonitis is a potentially life-threatening complication of anticancer therapy, and future treatment decisions may be informed by characterizing patients receiving therapies in the real-world setting. In this study, the incidence of treatment-associated pneumonitis (TAP) was compared among patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) or chemotherapies in either of two settings: randomized clinical trials (RCT) or real world data (RWD)-based clinical practice. Pneumonitis cases were identified using International Classification of Diseases codes (for RWD), or the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities preferred terms (for RCTs). TAP was defined as pneumonitis diagnosed during treatment or within 30 days of the last treatment administration. Overall TAP rates in the RWD cohort were lower [ICI: 1.9%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2–3.2; chemotherapy: 0.8%; 95% CI, 0.4–1.6] than overall rates in the RCT cohort (ICI: 5.6%; 95% CI, 5.0–6.2; chemotherapy: 1.2%; 95% CI, 0.9–1.5). Overall RWD TAP rates were similar to grade 3+ RCT TAP rates (ICI: 2.0%; 95% CI, 1.6–2.3; chemotherapy: 0.6%; 95% CI, 0.4–0.9). In both cohorts, higher TAP incidence was observed among patients with a past medical history of pneumonitis than those without, regardless of treatment group. On the basis of this sizable study leveraging RWD, TAP incidence was low in the RWD cohort, likely in part due to methodology used for RWD focusing on clinically significant cases. Past medical history of pneumonitis was associated with TAP in both cohorts.



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