Immune checkpoint inhibitor efficacy and safety in older non-small cell lung cancer patients

Toshio Kubo, Hiromi Watanabe, Kiichiro Ninomiya, Kenichiro Kudo, Daisuke Minami, Etsuko Murakami, Nobuaki Ochi, Takashi Ninomiya, Daijiro Harada, Masayuki Yasugi, Eiki Ichihara, Kadoaki Ohashi, Kanmei Rai, Keiichi Fujiwara, Katsuyuki Hotta, Masahiro Tabata, Yoshinobu Maeda, Katsuyuki Kiura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Immune checkpoint inhibitors offer longer survival than chemotherapy in several clinical trials for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. In subset analyses of clinical trials, immune checkpoint inhibitors extended survival in patients aged ≥65 years, but the effects in patients aged ≥75 years are controversial. We performed multicenter, collaborative and retrospective analyses of immune checkpoint inhibitor efficacy and safety in non-small cell lung cancer patients aged ≥75 years. Methods: We retrospectively studied 434 advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients who received immune checkpoint inhibitors from December 2015 to December 2017, and retrospectively applied the Geriatric (G) 8 screening tool with medical records. Results: Of the 434 patients who received immune checkpoint inhibitors, 100 were aged ≥75 years. Five patients with performance status 3 were omitted from the final analysis. Immune checkpoint inhibitors were given as a first-line treatment to 20 patients. The objective response rates, median progression-free survival rates and median survival times were 35.0%, 6.1 months and 10.7 months for first-line treatment, and 20.0%, 2.9 months and 14.7 months for second- or later-line treatments, respectively. The median modified G8 score was 11.0. The median survival time was longer in the high modified G8 (≥12.0) group than in the low modified G8 (≤11.0) group (18.7 vs. 8.7 months; P = 0.02). Likewise, the median survival time was 15.5 months (performance status 0-1) vs. 3.2 months (performance status 2) (P < 0.01). The grade ≥ 2 immune-related adverse events incidence was 36.8%. Conclusions: In this study, immune checkpoint inhibitors were effective and tolerable for patients aged ≥75 years. The modified G8 screening tool and performance status were associated with the outcome of older non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1447-1453
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020


  • G8
  • elderly patients
  • geriatric assessment
  • immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • non-small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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