Astrazeneca Provides Update on Imfinzi Adjuvant BR.31 Trial

Update on ADJUVANT BR.31 Phase III trial

of Imfinzi in non-small cell lung cancer

High-level results from the ADJUVANT BR.31 Phase III trial, sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), showed Imfinzi (durvalumab) did not achieve statistical significance for the primary endpoint of disease-free survival (DFS) versus placebo in early-stage (IB-IIIA) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after complete tumour resection in patients whose tumours express PD-L1 on 25% or more tumour cells. 

​Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “We are disappointed in the ADJUVANT BR.31 results. Imfinzi has helped change the treatment landscape and achieved multiple positive Phase III trials for patients with earlier stages of lung cancer. We are committed to addressing the remaining unmet need in lung cancer through our broad development programme.”

The safety profile for Imfinzi was consistent with its known safety profile, and no new safety concerns were reported. The data will be shared at a forthcoming medical meeting.

Imfinzi is the only approved immunotherapy and the global standard of care in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III NSCLC in patients whose disease has not progressed after chemoradiotherapy based on the PACIFIC Phase III trial.

Imfinzi is also being investigated as monotherapy and in combinations in several other early-stage lung cancer settings, including in medically inoperable or unresected Stage I-II NSCLC (PACIFIC-4) and unresectable, Stage III NSCLC (PACIFIC-5, 8 and 9).

Lung cancer

Each year, there are an estimated 2.4 million people diagnosed with lung cancer globally. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, accounting for about one-fifth of all cancer deaths.1-2 Lung cancer is broadly split into NSCLC and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), with 80-85% of patients diagnosed with NSCLC.3-4

The majority of NSCLC patients are diagnosed with advanced disease while approximately 25-30% present with resectable disease at diagnosis.5-6 Early-stage lung cancer diagnoses are often only made when the cancer is found on imaging for an unrelated condition.7-8

The majority of patients with resectable disease eventually develop recurrence despite complete tumour resection and adjuvant chemotherapy.9 Only around 58% of patients with Stage IB disease will survive for five years. This decreases to 36-46% for patients with Stage II and 24% for patients with Stage IIIA disease, reflecting a high unmet medical need.10


ADJUVANT BR.31 is a randomised, multi-centre, double-blind Phase III trial sponsored by CCTG evaluating Imfinzi in the adjuvant treatment of 1,415 patients with Stage IB (≥4cm), II or IIIA (Seventh Edition AJCC Cancer Staging Manual) NSCLC following complete tumour resection with or without adjuvant chemotherapy. AstraZeneca provided Imfinzi and support for the trial. Patients were randomised 2:1 to receive a 20mg/kg IV infusion of Imfinzi or placebo every four weeks for up to 48 weeks.

The trial is being conducted at 269 centres across 19 countries and regions including in Canada, the US, Australia, Europe and Asia. The primary endpoint is DFS in patients whose tumours express PD-L1 on 25% or more tumour cells and do not have known common EGFR mutations or ALK rearrangements. Key secondary endpoints include DFS in patients whose tumours express PD-L1 on 1% or more of cells and in patients regardless of PD-L1 tumour cell expression status, overall survival and safety. DFS is defined as time from randomisation to date of first recurrence, new cancer or death from any cause and is recognised as an important clinical measure by both physicians and patients.

Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG)

CCTG is an academic cancer clinical trials research cooperative that runs Phase I-III trials to test anti-cancer and supportive therapies at over 85 hospitals and cancer centres across Canada. From the operations centre at Queen’s University, CCTG has supported more than 600 trials enrolling 100,000 patients from 40 countries on 6 continents through a global network of 20,000 investigators and clinical trial staff. CCTG is a national program of the Canadian Cancer Society, and their aim is to improve survival and quality of life for all people with cancer.


Imfinzi (durvalumab) is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-L1 protein and blocks the interaction of PD-L1 with the PD-1 and CD80 proteins, countering the tumour’s immune-evading tactics and releasing the inhibition of immune responses.  

Imfinzi is the only approved immunotherapy and the global standard of care in the curative-intent setting of unresectable, Stage III NSCLC in patients whose disease has not progressed after chemoradiation therapy. Imfinzi is also approved for the treatment of extensive-stage SCLC and in combination with a short course of Imjudo (tremelimumab) and chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC. 

Imfinzi also demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful event-free survival results in patients with resectable early-stage NSCLC based on the AEGEAN Phase III trial. Imfinzi in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery and as adjuvant monotherapy after surgery is approved for patients in Switzerland based on this trial.

In limited-stage SCLC, Imfinzi demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in the dual primary endpoints of OS and progression-free survival (PFS) compared to placebo in patients who had not progressed following standard-of-care concurrent chemoradiotherapy in the ADRIATIC Phase III trial.

In addition to its indications in lung cancers, Imfinzi is approved in combination with chemotherapy (gemcitabine plus cisplatin) in locally advanced or metastatic biliary tract cancer and in combination with Imjudo in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Imfinzi is also approved as a monotherapy in unresectable HCC in Japan and the EU and in combination with chemotherapy (carboplatin plus paclitaxel) followed by Imfinzi monotherapy in primary advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer that is mismatch repair deficient in the US. 

Since the first approval in May 2017, more than 220,000 patients have been treated with Imfinzi. As part of a broad development programme, Imfinzi is being tested as a single treatment and in combinations with other anti-cancer treatments for patients with SCLC, NSCLC, breast cancer, several gastrointestinal and gynaecologic cancers, and other solid tumours.  


1. World Health Organization. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Lung Fact Sheet. Available at: Accessed June 2024. 

2. World Health Organization. International Agency for Research on Cancer. World Fact Sheet. Available at: Accessed June 2024. 

3. LUNGevity Foundation. Types of Lung Cancer. Available at: Accessed June 2024.

4. Cheema PK, et al. Perspectives on treatment advances for stage III locally advanced unresectable non-small-cell lung cancer. Curr Oncol. 2019;26(1):37-42.

5. Cagle PT, et al. Lung Cancer Biomarkers: Present Status and Future Developments. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013;137(9):1191-1198. 

6. Le Chevalier T. Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Resectable Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Where is it Going? Ann Oncol. 2010;21(suppl 7):vii196-198. 

7. Sethi S, et al. Incidental Nodule Management – Should There Be a Formal Process? J Thorac Dis. 2016:8(Suppl 6);S494-S497. 

8. LUNGevity Foundation. Screening and Early Detection. Available at: Accessed June 2024.

9. Pignon JP, et al. Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation: A Pooled Analysis by the LACE Collaborative Group. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(21):3552-3559.    

10. Goldstraw P, et al. The IASLC Lung Cancer Staging Project: proposals for the revision of the TNM stage groupings in the forthcoming (seventh) edition of the TNM Classification of malignant tumours. J Thorac Oncol. 2007;2(8):706-14.

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