Objectives: To investigate the impact of the number of cycles and objective response to chemotherapy on overall survival in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma treated with pembrolizumab. Methods: This multicenter, retrospective study included 755 patients from 59 institutions with advanced, chemoresistant urothelial carcinoma who received pembrolizumab. The associations of the overall survival with the number of cycles and best objective response were investigated using Cox multiple regression analysis. Results: Overall, 391 patients received standard first-line chemotherapy and pembrolizumab as a second-line treatment, and were included in the final analysis. Of the 391 patients, 185 received less than four cycles, 134 received four to six cycles and 72 received more than six cycles of first-line chemotherapy. An objective response (complete or partial response) to chemotherapy was observed in 145 patients (37.1%). Univariate analysis showed that the overall survival of patients who received more than six cycles or responded to chemotherapy (complete or partial response) was significantly longer than that of patients who received less than four cycles or did not respond to chemotherapy (stable or progressive disease). At multivariate levels, no correlations were observed between overall survival and the number of cycles of or the response to chemotherapy. Conclusions: Therapeutic benefit of pembrolizumab can be expected irrespective of the objective response to and number of cycles of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy.
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