Research Alert

Newswise — Scientists at the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center of Biotechnology, located at Temple University’s College of Science and Technology, working with collaborators in Italy, have described the age-related differences in inflammatory response to an emerging immunotherapy treatment for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) called PD-1 blockade. These age-related changes to immune system response, known as immunosenescence, may have implications for the efficacy or the safety of immunotherapies for a variety of conditions and disease. 

The paper, published recently in MDPI, is the result of a collaboration among a team of 15 coauthors, under the supervision of Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., President and Director of the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO).

“Distinctive Role of the Systemic Inflammatory Profile in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer | Younger and Elderly Patients Treated with a PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Blockade: A Real-World Retrospective Multi-Institutional Analysis.”

Valerio Nardone, Pierpaolo Correale, Diana Giannarelli, Luciano Mutti, Rita Emilena Saladino, et al report:

“It has been speculated that a chronic status of systemic inflammation as well as the #immunosenescence physiologically occurring in elderly patients may affect the efficacy of the treatment and the occurrence of #irAEs. We performed a multi-institutional retrospective study aimed at evaluating the effects of these mAbs (#nivolumab or #atezolizumab) in 117 mNSCLC patients younger (90 cases) and older (27 cases) than 75 years in correlation with multiple inflammatory parameters (#NLR, #CRP, #ESR, #LDH and #PCT). No differences were observed when the cohorts were compared in terms of the frequency of PFS, OS, inflammatory markers and immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Similarly, the occurrence of irAEs was strictly correlated with a prolonged OS survival in both groups.

“On the contrary,” the authors continue, “a negative correlation between the high baseline levels of inflammatory markers and OS could be demonstrated in the younger cohort only. Overall, PD-1/PD-L1-blocking mAbs were equally effective in young and elderly mNSCLC patients; however, the detrimental influence of a systemic inflammation at the baseline was only observed in young patients, suggesting different aging-related inflammation immunoregulative effects.”


About the Sbarro Health Research Organization

The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) is non-profit charity committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other chronic illnesses and to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism. To learn more about the SHRO please visit

Journal Link: MDPI

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