The following is a summary of “Effect of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapies on removal of indwelling pleural catheters in non-small cell lung cancer patients with malignant pleural effusions,” published in the JANUARY 2023 issue of Pulmonology by Wang, et al.

Malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) are treated mostly with indwelling pleural catheters (IPCs). Many individuals who get IPC treatment have pleurodesis. For a study, researchers sought to determine how systemic treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) affected the eradication of IPC in patients with concomitant MPEs.

From 2009 to 2020, they conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of adult IPC patients with metastatic NSCLC at the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s pleural effusion clinic. They evaluated IPC removal rates using logistic regression and IPC removal times using Cox regression.

About 248 IPCs were examined, and 232 patients satisfied the inclusion criteria. With a median duration to pleurodesis of 68 (IQR 38-140) days, the total pleurodesis rate was 42.7%. Chemotherapy (OR 1.86, CI 0.99–3.49 and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeted treatment (OR 3.81, CI 1.86–7.79) were linked to greater frequencies of pleurodesis in univariate analysis. An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG PS) of ≤2 (OR 4.82, CI 2.24–10.37) and EGFR targeted treatment (OR 3.87, CI 1.80–8.32) were linked to higher risks of pleurodesis in multivariate analysis. In both a univariate (HR 1.84, CI 1.20-2.83) and a multivariate study (HR 1.86, CI 1.19–2.92), IPC removal earlier was linked to EGFR targeted treatment.

In the sample, individuals with NSCLC who received EGFR-targeted treatment had higher rates and had IPC removal sooner. To find out if the association continued, further extensive cohort studies were needed.