Nivolumab Improves Response Rates for Metastatic NSCLC

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A phase III study (CheckMate 017) showed that nivolumab (Opdivo) was superior to docetaxel in patients previously treated for advanced or metastatic squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

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A phase III study (CheckMate 017) showed that nivolumab (Opdivo) was superior to docetaxel in patients previously treated for advanced or metastatic squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).1

This is an important study because lung cancer remains to be one of the deadliest of all cancers in the United States. This year, an estimated 221,200 adults (115,610 men and 105,590 women) in the will be diagnosed with lung cancer.1

Nivolumab showed greater overall survival in patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC, according to the phase III study. David R. Spigel, MD, presented his team's findings in a clinical science symposium (abstract 8009) at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held May 29-June 2, 2015 in Chicago. The findings can also be found in the May 2015 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.2

The study included 272 patients who were randomly selected to receive nivolumab, a human IgG4 PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor antibody, or docetaxel until disease progression occurred, discontinuation due to toxicity, or for other reasons. The primary objective was overall survival (OS). Secondary objectives included investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR; RECIST v1.1), progression-free survival (PFS), efficacy by PD-L1 expression (PD-L1 testing not required for enrollment), quality of life, and safety.

The researchers concluded that  the CheckMate 017 clinical trial met its primary objective, demonstrating superior overall survival of nivolumab versus docetaxel in patients with advanced, previously treated squamous cell NSCLC, and demonstrated PFS and overall a better response rate.

In summary, nivolumab represents a significant improvement in second-line therapy for patients with squamous cell NSCLC.

 

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