News Release

Immune checkpoint inhibitors convey survival benefit in elderly patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer

Reports and Proceedings

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Convey Survival Benefit in Elderly Patients with Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer  

(DENVER—September 13, 2021, 9 a.m. GMT/10 a.m. CDT/11 a.m. EDT) -- Because elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer are likely to be excluded from clinical trials due to their lower functional capacity or comorbidities, survival benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) remains unclear.  In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ICIs have become one of the standard pharmacological therapies, but elderly patients may be denied these therapies in clinical trials. 

However, a new study presented today at the IASLC 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer suggests age does not negatively impact on survival benefit from ICIs with stage IV NSCLC 

Dr. S. Takamori from the National Hospital Organization, Kyushu Cancer Center, Kyushu, Japan and co-researchers analyzed 86,173 patients with stage IV NSCLC--24,136 patients were age 75 and older and 62,037 patients were under age 75. 

Multivariable Cox modeling confirmed the survival benefit from ICIs for patients 75 years of age and older with stage IV NSCLC (HR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.58–0.65, P < 0.0001). The corresponding hazard ratio in patients under age 75 was 0.68. Despite the known negative prognostic factor, the impact of age (75 years of age or older) on overall survival by univariate analysis was smaller in those with ICIs than in those without (HR 1.23 vs. 1.32). 

“Chronological age does not appear to impact on survival benefit of ICIs in stage IV NSCLC according to our large database analysis,” reported Dr. Takamori. These findings should be validated in future prospective studies. 

About the IASLC: 

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 7,500 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit for more information.  


About the WCLC: 

The WCLC is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, attracting more than 7,000 researchers, physicians and specialists from more than 100 countries. The goal is to increase awareness, collaboration and understanding of lung cancer, and to help participants implement the latest developments across the globe. The conference will cover a wide range of disciplines and unveil several research studies and clinical trial results. For more information, visit


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.