(HealthDay News) — Adding cemiplimab to first-line chemotherapy can improve patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published in Cancer.

Researchers evaluated PROs from the phase 3 EMPOWER-Lung 3 trial. The analysis included 312 patients assigned to receive cemiplimab with platinum-doublet chemotherapy and 154 assigned to receive placebo with chemotherapy as first-line treatment for advanced NSCLC.

Between-treatment comparisons in overall change from baseline scores showed a significant difference in favor of the cemiplimab arm for pain (−4.98; 95% CI, –8.36 to −1.60, P =.004).

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Similarly, compared with chemotherapy alone, cemiplimab plus chemotherapy significantly delayed time to deterioration (TTD) for the following symptoms:

  • Pain (hazard ratio [HR], 0.39; 95% CI, 0.26–0.60; P <.0001)
  • Dyspnea (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33–0.90; P =.017)
  • Nausea/vomiting (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.22–0.67; P =.001)
  • Constipation (HR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.27–0.87; P =.013).

“We show that the favorable efficacy achieved with cemiplimab plus chemotherapy over placebo plus chemotherapy is accompanied by significant overall improvement in pain and significant delay in TTD in multiple patient-reported cancer-related and lung cancer-specific functions and symptoms,” the researchers wrote.

Several researchers disclosed financial ties to Regeneron, which manufactures cemiplimab and funded the study.

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