New study demonstrates effectiveness of toripalimab in treating nasopharyngeal carcinoma

作者:Li Wenfang来源

Research led by a Chinese doctor has shown that toripalimab - a humanized monoclonal antibody against programmed death protein 1 - helps significantly improve the survival of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a type of head and neck cancer, when used in addition to chemotherapy.

A report on the immunotherapy research was published on the website of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Tuesday.

The research, entitled Jupiter-02, involved an international, multi-center, randomized, double-blind phase 3 study conducted in NPC-endemic regions, including the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Singapore.

From November 2018 to October 2019, 289 patients with recurrent or metastatic NPC with no prior systemic chemotherapy were enrolled at 35 participating centers, according to Xu Ruihua, president of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, which is based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Patients were randomized to receive toripalimab or a placebo in addition to chemotherapy for up to six cycles, followed by maintenance with toripalimab or a placebo.

The toripalimab treatment group had a significantly longer median progression-free survival than the placebo group, or 21.4 vs 8.2 months, said Xu, who led the research.

A significant improvement in overall survival was identified with toripalimab over placebo.

The incidence of all adverse events were similar between the two groups.

Over the past few years, two other phase 3 trials have evaluated the addition of anti–programmed cell death protein 1 to first-line chemotherapy in endemic NPC. So far, only Jupiter-02 has reported mature overall survival data favoring the immunotherapy combination group, said a JAMA editorial.