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Profile of nivolumab in the treatment of metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer

Authors Ang Y, Lim J, Soo R

Received 5 December 2015

Accepted for publication 17 March 2016

Published 30 May 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 3187—3195


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ram Prasad

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Yvonne LE Ang,1 Joline SJ Lim,1,2 Ross A Soo1–3

1Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, National University Health System, 2Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore; 3Department of Surgery, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia

Abstract: Until recently, the prognosis and treatment of patients with advanced-stage squamous cell lung cancers have been limited. An improvement in the understanding of the role of the immune system in tumor immunosurveillance has led to the development of the programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo). Nivolumab is the first PD-1 inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced-stage squamous cell non-small-cell lung cancer following platinum-based chemotherapy. In the key Phase III trial CHECKMATE 017, a better overall survival and progression-free survival were seen in patients treated with second-line nivolumab compared with docetaxel. Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression did not predict for outcome. In addition, nivolumab had better safety and tolerability, and led to better patient reported outcomes. Further research on the role of PD-L1 expression as a predictive biomarker should be performed, and other biomarkers that can predict the efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors should also be pursued. Further studies on the combination treatment are ongoing to determine the optimal role of nivolumab as monotherapy or nivolumab with other agents in non-small-cell lung cancer.

Keywords: immunotherapy, programmed death-1, PD-1, NSCLC, squamous cell, nivolumab

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