ASCO Expert Perspective
“This study demonstrates that the addition of tislelizumab to chemotherapy extended survival for patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer and the combination provides another treatment option for patients affected by this disease.”
– Sharon Spencer, MD, ASCO Expert in Nasopharyngeal Cancer
The addition of tislelizumab to chemotherapy showed statistical and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) compared with chemotherapy alone in patients with recurrent/metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer. These findings will be presented during the ASCO Plenary Series session taking place April 19, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Nasopharyngeal cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that originates in the nasopharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose and near the base of skull. It has a higher occurrence in certain parts of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. The current standard treatment for recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer is a combination of chemotherapies gemcitabine plus cisplatin. When this study began, tislelizumab had been approved in China for the treatment of other types of cancer, both alone and in combination with chemotherapy.
In the RATIONALE-309 study, 263 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive either tislelizumab in combination with standard chemotherapy or a placebo in combination with standard chemotherapy. There was an observed improvement of median PFS in the tislelizumab plus chemotherapy arm (9.6 months) compared to the placebo + chemotherapy arm (7.4 months), with a 50% lower risk of disease progression. Median PFS after next line of treatment (PFS2) and overall survival (OS) were not yet reached for the tislelizumab + chemotherapy arm. In the placebo + chemotherapy arm, PFS2 was 13.9 months and OS was 23 months.
The combination of tislelizumab with chemotherapy was generally well tolerated and had a comparable safety profile compared with placebo plus chemotherapy.
“These findings support the use of tislelizumab in combination with chemotherapy as a potential standard-of-care as first line therapy in recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer,” said Lead Principal Investigator Li Zhang, MD, professor at the Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China and Sun Yat-sen University Cancer.
This research was funded by BeiGene, Ltd.
View the Disclosures for Dr. Spencer: https://coi.asco.org/share/8F7-YT4U/Sharon%20Spencer
View the Author Disclosures: https://coi.asco.org/Report/ViewAbstractCOI?id=384950
ATTRIBUTION TO THE ASCO PLENARY SERIES IS REQUESTED IN ALL COVERAGE.
Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to the principle that knowledge conquers cancer. Together with the Association for Clinical Oncology, ASCO represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of high quality, equitable patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, supports ASCO by funding groundbreaking research and education across cancer’s full continuum. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at www.ASCO.org, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.