Background: Addition of temozolomide (TMZ) to radiotherapy (RT) improves overall survival (OS) in patients with glioblastoma (GBM), but previous studies suggest that patients with tumors harboring an unmethylated MGMT promoter derive minimal benefit. The aim of this open-label, phase III CheckMate 498 study was to evaluate the efficacy of nivolumab (NIVO) + RT compared with TMZ + RT in newly diagnosed GBM with unmethylated MGMT promoter.
Methods: Patients were randomized 1:1 to standard RT (60 Gy) + NIVO (240 mg every 2 weeks for eight cycles, then 480 mg every 4 weeks) or RT + TMZ (75 mg/m2 daily during RT and 150-200 mg/m2/day 5/28 days during maintenance). The primary endpoint was OS.
Results: A total of 560 patients were randomized, 280 to each arm. Median OS (mOS) was 13.4 months (95% CI, 12.6 to 14.3) with NIVO + RT and 14.9 months (95% CI, 13.3 to 16.1) with TMZ + RT (hazard ratio [HR], 1.31; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.58; P = .0037). Median progression-free survival was 6.0 months (95% CI, 5.7 to 6.2) with NIVO + RT and 6.2 months (95% CI, 5.9 to 6.7) with TMZ + RT (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.65). Response rates were 7.8% (9/116) with NIVO + RT and 7.2% (8/111) with TMZ + RT; grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse event (TRAE) rates were 21.9% and 25.1%, and any-grade serious TRAE rates were 17.3% and 7.6%, respectively.
Conclusions: The study did not meet the primary endpoint of improved OS; TMZ + RT demonstrated a longer mOS than NIVO + RT. No new safety signals were detected with NIVO in this study. The difference between the study treatment arms is consistent with the use of TMZ + RT as the standard of care for GBM.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02617589.
Keywords: newly diagnosed glioblastoma; nivolumab; radiotherapy; temozolomide; unmethylated MGMT.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology.