Purpose:

Modified gemcitabine and S-1 (GS) is an active regimen for patients with advanced biliary tract cancer (ABTC) in our previous study. Herein, we report the results of a single-arm phase II of nivolumab plus modified GS (NGS) as first-line treatment in ABTC.

Experimental Design:

Patients received nivolumab 240 mg and 800 mg/m2 gemcitabine on day 1 plus daily 80/100/120 mg of S-1 (based on body surface area) on days 1 to 10, in a 2-week cycle. The primary endpoint was the objective response rate (ORR). The correlation between therapeutic efficacy and genetic alterations with signatures identified by targeted next-generation sequencing panels was explored.

Findings:

Between December 2019 and December 2020, 48 eligible patients were enrolled. After a median of 17.6 months of follow-up, the ORR was 45.9% [95% confidence interval (CI), 31.4%–60.8%]. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was 9.1 (95% CI, 5.8–9.6) and 19.2 (95% CI, 11.6–not reached) months, respectively. All grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events (AE) were less than 10%, except fatigue (14.6%) and skin rash (10.4%). Eighteen patients (35.4%) experienced immune-related AEs without treatment-related death. High tumor mutational burden (TMB-H; top 20%; ≥7.1 mut/Mb) only predicted prolonged median PFS but not OS. Up to 28.9% of patients who harbored loss-of-function mutations in chromatin remodeling genes demonstrated significantly longer median PFS and OS than those without alterations.

Conclusions:

NGS is a safe and promising regimen in ABTC. Impaired functions of chromatin remodeling genes may be a potential surrogate biomarker with predictive value in this study.

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Supplementary data