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Review

Immune-Checkpoint Inhibition in the Treatment of Gastro-Esophageal Cancer: A Closer Look at the Emerging Evidence

Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center and Biological Sciences, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
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Academic Editors: Giuseppe Broggi and Lucia Salvatorelli
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 5929; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13235929
Received: 7 October 2021 / Revised: 13 November 2021 / Accepted: 14 November 2021 / Published: 25 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Pathological Markers in the Diagnosis and Therapy of Cancer)
Gastroesophageal cancers (GEC) constitute a common group of tumors that vary highly in incidence and treatment response. Although chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment, immunotherapy with immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) is a novel treatment modality for this type of cancer. To date, several studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of ICIs for the treatment of GEC. The role of ICIs in the treatment of GEC is rapidly evolving. In the US, ICIs have established indications for second-line treatment of microsatellite unstable tumors, while their use in third-line settings was recently withdrawn. Notably, the use of ICIs for first-line therapy of GEC includes high PD-L1 expressing tumors, irrespective of HER2 status, and in the adjuvant setting after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in select patients. In this review, we outline the results of these studies for the third-line, second-line, first-line, and peri-operative treatment of GEC.
To date, several trials have evaluated the safety and efficacy of immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) for the treatment of gastroesophageal cancers (GEC). In the US, ICIs have established indications for second-line treatment of microsatellite unstable tumors, while their use in third-line settings was recently withdrawn. Notably, the use of ICIs for first-line therapy of GEC is rapidly evolving, which currently includes high PD-L1 expressing tumors, irrespective of HER2 status, and in the adjuvant setting after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in select patients. In this article, we review the results of studies that have evaluated the utility of ICI in the third-line, second-line, first-line, and peri-operative treatment settings of GECs. Considerations should be made before making any cross-trial comparisons since these trials vary in chemotherapy backbone, anatomical and histological eligibility, biomarker assessment, PD-L1 diagnostic antibodies, and definition of PD-L1 positivity. Regardless, the totality of the data suggest that first-line ICI use may most benefit GEC patients with high PD-L1 combined positivity score (CPS) ≥5 or ≥10, irrespective of histology or anatomy. Moreover, although PD-L1 by CPS has a good negative predictive value for significant benefit from ICIs, it has a low positive predictive value. Therefore, there is a pressing need to identify better biomarkers to predict benefit from ICIs among these patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: immune-checkpoint inhibitor; gastroesophageal cancer; programmed death ligand-1 immune-checkpoint inhibitor; gastroesophageal cancer; programmed death ligand-1
MDPI and ACS Style

Paydary, K.; Reizine, N.; Catenacci, D.V.T. Immune-Checkpoint Inhibition in the Treatment of Gastro-Esophageal Cancer: A Closer Look at the Emerging Evidence. Cancers 2021, 13, 5929. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13235929

AMA Style

Paydary K, Reizine N, Catenacci DVT. Immune-Checkpoint Inhibition in the Treatment of Gastro-Esophageal Cancer: A Closer Look at the Emerging Evidence. Cancers. 2021; 13(23):5929. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13235929

Chicago/Turabian Style

Paydary, Koosha, Natalie Reizine, and Daniel V.T. Catenacci 2021. "Immune-Checkpoint Inhibition in the Treatment of Gastro-Esophageal Cancer: A Closer Look at the Emerging Evidence" Cancers 13, no. 23: 5929. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13235929

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