News Release

Atezolizumab plus carboplatin and pemetrexed shows promise in patients with NSCLC with untreated brain metastases

Reports and Proceedings

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

Atezolizumab Plus Carboplatin and Pemetrexed Shows Promise in Patients with NSCLC with Untreated Brain Metastases 

(DENVER—September 10, 2021, 9 a.m. GMT/10 a.m. CDT/11 a.m. EDT)--Treatment with atezolizumab plus carboplatin and pemetrexed was safe and yielded promising brain progression-free survival in patients with nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer with untreated and asymptomatic brain metastases.  The study was presented today at the IASLC 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer. 

According to Ernest Nadal, MD, of the Catalan Institute of Oncology/IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain, patients with untreated brain metastases have been excluded or underrepresented in clinical trials conducted in the first line setting evaluating the combination of chemotherapy plus immune checkpoint inhibitors.  

To determine the safety and efficacy of chemotherapy plus atezolizumab in patients with NSCLC with asymptomatic untreated brain metastases, Dr. Nadal and his co-researchers at 11 clinical sites enrolled 40 patients with stage IV non-squamous NSLC without EGFR or ALK genetic alterations with untreated brain metastases. All enrolled patients had not been previously treated with chemotherapy. 

Patients received carboplatin and pemetrexed plus atezolizumab every 3 weeks for four to six cycles, followed by maintenance with pemetrexed plus atezolizumab until progressive disease or a maximum of 2 years. Co-primary endpoints were safety and investigator-assessed progression-free survival at 12 weeks.  

At 12 weeks, 16 (40%) patients had a response and 19 (47.5%) had stable disease in the central nervous system, while 19 (47.5%) had a systemic response. Only four patients had discordance between their central nervous system and systemic responses (two with partial disease in the brain and a partial response in the body, and two with stable disease in the brain and partial disease in the body).  

At 12 weeks, the overall progression-free survival rate was 60% and grade 3-4 toxicity was 27.5%. Intracranial and systemic progression-free survival were 6.9 months (95% CI 4.7-12.1) and 8.9 months, (95% CI 6.7- 13.8), respectively. Treatment was well tolerated, and no grade five toxicities were observed. Treatment-related adverse events grade 3 in 5% or greater of patients included anemia (8 patients), back pain (4 patients), thrombocytopenia (two patients) and dyspnea, pneumonitis and ALT (1 patient each). Three patients had grade 4 treatment-related adverse events consisting of thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, and hallucinations.  

“Treatment with atezolizumab plus carboplatin and pemetrexed was safe and yielded promising brain progression-free survival in patients with nonsquamous NSCLC with untreated and asymptomatic brain metastases,” Dr. Nadal said. 


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 nearly 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 

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