Clinical Features, Survival, and Burden of Toxicities in Survivors More Than One Year After Lung Cancer Immunotherapy

Melinda L. Hsu, Joseph C. Murray, Kevin J. Psoter, Jiajia Zhang, Durrant Barasa, Julie R. Brahmer, David S. Ettinger, Patrick M. Forde, Christine L. Hann, Vincent K. Lam, Benjamin Levy, Kristen A. Marrone, Tricia Patel, Valerie Peterson, Sarah Sagorsky, Michelle Turner, Valsamo Anagnostou, Jarushka Naidoo, Josephine L. Feliciano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Anti-PD-(L)1 immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) improve survival in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC). The clinical features, survival, and burden of toxicities of patients with aNSCLC alive >1 year from ICI initiation are poorly understood. Materials and Methods: We defined ICI survivors as patients alive >1 year after ICI start and retrospectively reviewed demographics, treatment, and immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Long-term irAEs were defined as ongoing irAEs lasting >1 year; burden of toxicity measures were based on percentage of days a patient experienced toxicity. Using linear and logistic regression, we evaluated association between demographics and disease characteristics with burden of toxicity. Results: We identified 114 ICI survivors from 317 patients with aNSCLC. Half (52%) experienced an irAE of any grade, and 23.7% developed long-term irAEs. More ICI survivors with irAES in the first year had never smoked (P =. 018) or received ICIs as frontline therapy (P =. 015). The burden of toxicity in the first year significantly correlated with the burden of toxicity afterward (ρ = 0.72; P <. 001). No patients with progressive disease had a high burden of toxicity, and they experienced 30.6% fewer days with toxicity than those with stable disease. Increased duration of therapy was associated with higher odds of experiencing toxicity. Half of ICI survivors with irAEs were still receiving treatment for unresolved irAEs at time of death or last follow-up. Conclusion: Significant proportions of ICI survivors have unresolved long-term toxicities. These data support a growing need to understand long-term toxicity to optimize management of those treated with ICIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-981
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • immune-related adverse events
  • non-small cell lung cancer
  • survivorship
  • toxicities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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