Therapeutic blockade of the axis of programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) has transformed the management of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Clinical trials with pembrolizumab have enrolled patients with performance status (PS) 0–1. However, around 18% of patients with NSCLC are PS2, and the activity and safety of pembrolizumab in these patients is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pembrolizumab in these patients.
I became involved in the PePS2 trial shortly after joining CRCTU in 2014. I developed a Bayesian statistical method for this trial that would analyse co-primary efficacy and toxicity outcomes whilst adjusting for baseline covariates as a substantial part of my PhD thesis. This publication is important to me because PePS2 became the first trial where I published a statistical design paper and results paper.