AACR17: Significant long-term survival gains demonstrated in Phase I trial of nivolumab in advanced lung cancer

Long-term survival data from a Phase Ib study of the immunotherapy nivolumab indicate that almost one in six (16% of 129) patients with previously treated, advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were still alive at 5 years. The current average 5-year survival in advanced NSCLC is 1%.

These NSCLC data from this single arm trial were presented yesterday as part of the official press programme at The American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017 (held 1–5 April 2017, DC, USA). This study was primarily aimed at establishing the safety and tolerability of nivolumab across different doses.

In this Phase Ib trial, 12 of the 16 NSCLC patients who lived to 5 years received no further therapy after ceasing treatment with nivolumab and remained without evidence of the disease progression. The safety profile of nivolumab was previously reported, with serious treatment related grade 3/4 adverse events occurring in 19% of patients at 5 years.

“These data are a landmark step in this type of lung cancer, and for the first time, there is a renewed hope that we may see a significant shift in survival. Drugs such as nivolumab are the biggest breakthroughs in lung cancer for decades, offering those with terminal disease the hope of extended survival,” commented Alastair Greystoke, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Newcastle Hospitals (UK).

Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb press release, 3rd April 2017.