The following article features coverage from the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Camrelizumab plus gemcitabine and cisplatin significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma, according to results of a study presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.1

The results suggest the combination could be standard care for this patient population, according to Li Zhang, MD, of State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, and colleagues.

The combination of camrelizumab plus gemcitabine and cisplatin showed promising activity in previously published studies of patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma.2

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The current phase 3 study ( Identifier: NCT03707509) enrolled 263 patients who had not received prior systemic therapy but had recurrent or metastatic disease.

All patients received gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8) plus cisplatin (80 mg/m2 on day 1). Roughly half of patients (n = 134) also received camrelizumab (200 mg on day 1), and the other half (n =129) received placebo.

The primary endpoint was PFS per independent review committee. Patients randomized to camrelizumab had an almost 4-month improvement in median PFS compared with patients randomized to placebo — 10.8 months and 6.9 months, respectively (P <.0001).

Investigator-assessed PFS results were similar. The 18-month PFS rate was 34.8% in the camrelizumab arm and 12.7% in the placebo arm.

There was an overall survival benefit with camrelizumab as well. The median overall survival was not reached in the camrelizumab arm and was 22.6 months in the placebo arm (hazard ratio, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.41-1.11). 

The overall response rate was 88.1% with camrelizumab and 80.6% with placebo. The median duration of response was 9.9 months and 5.7 months, respectively. Both arms had disease control rates above 90%.

Common treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or higher were decreased white blood cell count, decreased neutrophil count, decreased platelet count, and anemia. There was no significant between-arm difference in the rates of these events.

Disclosures: This research was supported by Jiangsua Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd. Some study authors declared affiliations with pharmaceutical companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s coverage of the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting by visiting the conference page.


  1. Zhang L, Yang Y, Qu S, et al. Camrelizumab versus placebo combined with gemcitabine and cisplatin for recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a randomized, double-blind, phase 3 trial. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39:(suppl 15; abstr 6000). doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.6000
  2. Fang W, Yang Y, Ma Y, et al. Camrelizumab (SHR-1210) alone or in combination with gemcitabine plus cisplatin for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: results from two single-arm, phase 1 trials. Lancet Oncol. 2018;19(10):1338-1350. doi:10.1016/S14702045(18)30495-9