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Saber Amin, Michael Baine, Jane Meza, and Chi Lin

Background: Immunotherapy has shown excellent efficacy in various cancers. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the significant role of immunotherapy in patients with brain metastases (BMs). The objective of this study was to investigate, using the National Cancer Database, the impact of immunotherapy on the overall survival (OS) of patients with BMs who did not receive definitive surgery of the primary tumor. Patients and Methods: Patients diagnosed with the primary cancer of non–small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, other types of lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, colorectal cancer, or renal cancer who had BMs at the time of diagnosis were identified from the National Cancer Database. We assessed OS using a Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for age at diagnosis, sex, race, education level, income level, residential area, treatment facility type, insurance status, Charlson-Deyo comorbidity status, year of diagnosis, primary tumor type, and receipt of chemotherapy, radiation therapy (RT), and/or immunotherapy, because these factors were significantly associated with OS in the univariable analysis. Results: Of 94,215 patients who were analyzed, 3,097 (3.29%) received immunotherapy. In the multivariable analysis, immunotherapy was associated with significantly improved OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.694; 95% CI, 0.664–0.726; P<.0001) compared with no immunotherapy. Treatment using chemotherapy plus immunotherapy was significantly associated with improved OS (HR, 0.643; 95% CI, 0.560–0.738; P<.0001) compared with chemotherapy without immunotherapy. RT plus immunotherapy was also associated with significantly improved OS (HR, 0.389; 95% CI, 0.352–0.429; P<.0001) compared with RT alone. Furthermore, chemoradiation (CRT) plus immunotherapy was associated with significantly improved OS (HR, 0.793; 95% CI, 0.752–0.836; P<.0001) compared with CRT alone. Conclusions: In this comprehensive analysis, the addition of immunotherapy to chemotherapy, RT, and CRT was associated with significantly improved OS in patients with BMs. The study warrants future clinical trials of immunotherapy in patients with BMs, who have historically been excluded from these trials.

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Michael J. Baine, Richard Sleightholm, Beth K. Neilsen, David Oupický, Lynette M. Smith, Vivek Verma, and Chi Lin

Background: Despite the fact that stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is the only recommended first-line therapy for inoperable early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), several thermal ablative procedures (TAPs; defined herein as laser/cryoablation and electrocautery) are available. Studies showing outcomes of these procedures and how they compare with SBRT are scarce. We sought to evaluate the comparative efficacy of SBRT versus TAPs using the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Methods: The NCDB was queried for patients with early-stage NSCLC who did not undergo surgical resection. Treatment-specific inclusion criteria were applied to select for patients receiving either TAPs or SBRT. Univariate logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards modeling were performed, and Kaplan-Meier curves were generated. Serial propensity matches were performed using a modified greedy 8→n matching 1:1 algorithm. Results: A total of 27,734 patients were analyzed; 26,725 underwent SBRT and 1,009 underwent TAPs. Patients who received SBRT were older and more likely to have clinical stage IB (vs IA) disease. Despite this, SBRT was associated with longer median overall survival (mOS; 37.7 vs 33.5 months; P=.001) and 1-, 2-, and 5-year OS rates compared with the TAPs cohort (86.7% vs 83.1%, 67.5% vs 62.7%, and 30.6% vs 26.9%, respectively; P=.001). Upon propensity matching, improved OS with SBRT remained, with a mOS of 40.4 versus 33.4 months and 1-, 2-, and 5-year OS rates of 89.0% versus 82.9%, 69.7% versus 62.7%, and 34.4% versus 26.4%, respectively (P=.003). Conclusions: Despite being associated with more higher-risk factors, SBRT was associated with higher OS compared with TAPs for treatment of nonoperative patients diagnosed with early-stage NSCLC. However, causation cannot be implied owing to the inherent limitations of large heterogeneous datasets such as the NCDB.

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Robert J. Motzer, Eric Jonasch, Neeraj Agarwal, Ajjai Alva, Michael Baine, Kathryn Beckermann, Maria I. Carlo, Toni K. Choueiri, Brian A. Costello, Ithaar H. Derweesh, Arpita Desai, Yasser Ged, Saby George, John L. Gore, Naomi Haas, Steven L. Hancock, Payal Kapur, Christos Kyriakopoulos, Elaine T. Lam, Primo N. Lara, Clayton Lau, Bryan Lewis, David C. Madoff, Brandon Manley, M. Dror Michaelson, Amir Mortazavi, Lakshminarayanan Nandagopal, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Lee Ponsky, Sundhar Ramalingam, Brian Shuch, Zachary L. Smith, Jeffrey Sosman, Mary A. Dwyer, Lisa A. Gurski, and Angela Motter

The NCCN Guidelines for Kidney Cancer focus on the screening, diagnosis, staging, treatment, and management of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Patients with relapsed or stage IV RCC typically undergo surgery and/or receive systemic therapy. Tumor histology and risk stratification of patients is important in therapy selection. The NCCN Guidelines for Kidney Cancer stratify treatment recommendations by histology; recommendations for first-line treatment of ccRCC are also stratified by risk group. To further guide management of advanced RCC, the NCCN Kidney Cancer Panel has categorized all systemic kidney cancer therapy regimens as “Preferred,” “Other Recommended Regimens,” or “Useful in Certain Circumstances.” This categorization provides guidance on treatment selection by considering the efficacy, safety, evidence, and other factors that play a role in treatment selection. These factors include pre-existing comorbidities, nature of the disease, and in some cases consideration of access to agents. This article summarizes surgical and systemic therapy recommendations for patients with relapsed or stage IV RCC.