IMPORTANCE Recently, new drugs have been approved for the first-line treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Nivolumab plus ipilimumab significantly increases overall survival for intermediate-and poor-risk patients with mRCC. However, considering the high cost of nivolumab plus ipilimumab, there is a need to assess its value by considering both efficacy and cost. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of nivolumab plus ipilimumab vs sunitinib in the first-line setting for intermediate-and poor-risk patients with mRCC from the US payer perspective. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A Markov modelwas developed to compare the lifetime cost and effectiveness of nivolumab plus ipilimumab vs sunitinib in the first-line treatment of mRCC using outcomes data from the CheckMate 214 phase 3 randomized clinical trial, which included 1096 patients with mRCC (median age, 62 years) and compared nivolumab plus ipilimumab vs sunitinib as first-line treatment of mRCC. In the analysis, patients were modeled to receive sunitinib or nivolumab plus ipilimumab for 4 doses followed by nivolumab monotherapy. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and lifetime costs were estimated, at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100 000 to $150 000 per QALY. Univariable, 2-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to evaluate the model uncertainty. Additional subgroup analyses were performed. RESULTS Nivolumab plus ipilimumab provided an additional 0.96 QALYs, at a cost of $108 363 per QALY. Sensitivity analyses found the results to be most sensitive to overall survival hazard ratio (0.63; 95% CI, 0.44-0.89) and mean patient weight (70 kg, range, 40-200 kg). Other variables, such as the cost of nivolumab plus ipilimumab (mean, $32 213.44; range, $25 770.75-$38 656.13), utility values for nivolumab plus ipilimumab (mean, 0.82; range, 0.65-0.98), and proportion receiving nivolumab in sunitinib arm (mean, 0.27; range, 0.22-0.32), had a moderate or minor influence on model results. Subgroup analyses demonstrated that nivolumab plus ipilimumab was most cost-effective for patients with programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 expression of at least 1% ($86 390 per QALY). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this model, nivolumab plus ipilimumab was estimated to be cost-effective compared with sunitinib for intermediate-and poor-risk patients with mRCC at a willingness-to-pay threshold from $100 000 to $150 000 per QALY.
IMPORTANCE Tumor mutational burden (TMB), as measured by whole-exome sequencing (WES) or a cancer gene panel (CGP), is associated with immunotherapy responses. However, whether TMB estimated by circulating tumor DNA in blood (bTMB) is associated with clinical outcomes of immunotherapy remains to be explored. OBJECTIVES To explore the optimal gene panel size and algorithm to design a CGP for TMB estimation, evaluate the panel reliability, and further validate the feasibility of bTMB as a clinical actionable biomarker for immunotherapy. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS In this cohort study, a CGP named NCC-GP150 was designed and virtually validated using The Cancer Genome Atlas database. The correlation between bTMB estimated by NCC-GP150 and tissue TMB (tTMB) measured by WES was evaluated in matched blood and tissue samples from 48 patients with advanced NSCLC. An independent cohort of 50 patients with advanced NSCLC was used to identify the utility of bTMB estimated by NCC-GP150 in distinguishing patients who would benefit from anti-programmed cell death 1(anti-PD-1) and anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 (anti-PD-L1) therapy. The study was performed from July 19, 2016, to April 20, 2018. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Assessment of the Spearman correlation coefficient between bTMB estimated by NCC-GP150 and tTMB calculated by WES. Evaluation of the association of bTMB level with progression-free survival and response to anti-PD-land anti-PD-Li therapy. RESULTS This study used 2 independent cohorts of patients with NSCLC (cohort 1: 48 patients; mean [SD] age, 60  years; 15 [31.2%] female; cohort 2:50 patients; mean [SD] age, 58  years; 15 [30.0%] female). A CGP, including 150 genes, demonstrated stable correlations with WES for TMB estimation (median r2 = 0.91; interquartile range, 0.89-0.92), especially when synonymous mutations were included (median r2 = 0.92; interquartile range, 0.91-0.93), whereas TMB estimated by the NCC-GP150 panel found higher correlations with TMB estimated by WES than most of the randomly sampled 150-gene panels. Blood TMB estimated by NCC-GP150 correlated well with the matched tTMB calculated by WES (Spearman correlation = 0.62). In the anti-PD-land anti-PD-Li treatment cohort, a bTMB of 6 or higher was associated with superior progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.18-0.84; log-rank P =.01) and objective response rates (bTMB Tr.-6: 39.3%; 95% Cl, 23.9%-56.5%; bTMB <6: 9.1%; 95% Cl, 1.6%-25.9%; P =.02). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The findings suggest that established NCC-GP150 with an optimized gene panel size and algorithm is feasible for bTMB estimation, which may serve as a potential biomarker of clinical benefit in patients with NSCLC treated with anti-PD-land anti-PD-Li agents.