Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have resulted in improved outcomes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. However, data demonstrating the efficacy of ICIs in NSCLC brain metastases (NSCLCBM) is limited. We analyzed overall survival (OS) in patients with NSCLCBM treated with ICIs within 90 days of NSCLCBM diagnosis (ICI-90) and compared them to patients who never received ICIs (no-ICI). We reviewed 800 patients with LCBM who were diagnosed between 2010 and 2019 at a major tertiary care institution, 97% of whom received stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for local treatment of BM. OS from BM was compared between the ICI-90 and no-ICI groups using the Log-Rank test and Cox proportional-hazards model. Additionally, the impact of KRAS mutational status on the efficacy of ICI was investigated. After accounting for known prognostic factors, ICI-90 in addition to SRS led to significantly improved OS compared to no-ICI (12.5 months vs 9.1, p < 0.001). In the 109 patients who had both a known PD-L1 expression and KRAS status, 80.4% of patients with KRAS mutation had PD-L1 expression vs 61.9% in wild-type KRAS patients (p = 0.04). In patients without a KRAS mutation, there was no difference in OS between the ICI-90 vs no-ICI cohort with a one-year survival of 60.2% vs 54.8% (p = 0.84). However, in patients with a KRAS mutation, ICI-90 led to a one-year survival of 60.4% vs 34.1% (p = 0.004). Patients with NSCLCBM who received ICI-90 had improved OS compared to no-ICI patients. Additionally, this benefit appears to be observed primarily in patients with KRAS mutations that may drive the overall benefit, which should be taken into account in the development of future trials.

Publication Date


Content Type


PubMed ID:


Additional Authors:

Additional authors and institutional affiliations


Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/.

Open Access

Available to all.