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BACKGROUND: Recent data suggested a role of gut microbiota and antibiotic use on immune checkpoint inhibitors efficacy. We aimed to evaluate the impact of early use of antibiotic (EUA), blood microbiome and plasmatic citrulline (marker of the intestinal barrier) on nivolumab efficacy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS: We included all consecutive patients with advanced NSCLC treated with nivolumab in our Department between 2014 and 2017. Blood microbiome was analyzed at month (M) M0 and M2. Citrulline rates were evaluated at M0, M2, M4 and M6.
RESULTS: Seventy-two patients were included (EUA in 42%). Overall survival (OS) was longer without EUA (median 13.4 months) than with EUA (5.1 months, p = 0.03). Thirty-five patients (49%) had plasma samples available. High citrulline rate (≥20 μM) at M0 was associated with tumor response (p = 0.084) and clinical benefit (nivolumab > 6 months) (p = 0.002). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 7.9 months (high citrulline) vs 1.6 months (low citrulline) (p < 0.0001), and median OS were respectively non reached vs 2.2 months (p < 0.0001). Patients with EUA had lower median citrulline rates at M0: 21 μM (IQR 15.0-30.8) vs 32 μM (IQR 24.0-42.0) without EUA (p = 0.044). The presence of specific bacterial DNA in blood at M0 was associated with response and clinical benefit (Peptostreptococcae, Paludibaculum, Lewinella) or with tumor progression (Gemmatimonadaceae). Multivariate analyses on PFS and OS confirmed the prognostic role of citrulline and blood microbiome.
CONCLUSIONS: EUA is associated with shorter OS with nivolumab and lower citrulline rates. Plasma citrulline and blood microbiome appear to be promising predictive factors of nivolumab efficacy.
Julia Ouaknine Krief
Etienne Giroux Leprieur
Julia Ouaknine Krief,Pierre Helly de Tauriers,Coraline Dumenil,Nathalie Neveux,Jennifer Dumoulin,Violaine Giraud,Sylvie Labrune,Julie Tisserand,Catherine Julie,Jean Francois Emile,Thierry Chinet,Etienne Giroux Leprieur