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Second-Line Nivolumab Is Not Superior to Chemotherapy in SCLC

(ESMO I-O Congress) Dec 13, 2018 - Treatment with the anti-PD1 antibody, nivolumab, did not improve response rates or survival over standard chemotherapy in patients with metastatic small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) who relapsed following first-line treatment, according to findings presented at the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. Martin Reck of the Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf, German Centre of Lung Research in Grosshansdorf, Germany noted that, although patients with SCLC often show high initial response rates, most patients will relapse soon after first-line treatment. These relapsing patients have few treatment options leaving them with a poor prognosis. Professor Reck and colleagues conducted the CheckMate 331 (NCT02481830) study evaluating nivolumab, which has been approved in the USA for treatment of patients with SCLC and progression after platinum-based chemotherapy and one or more other lines of treatment.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: December 14, 2018)

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Though the authors and proponents from BMS highlight that the handful of patients who responded to nivo had a longer response rate than was seen with chemo, that's damning with faint praise for a therapy that will cost what nivo does. The vast majority of patients getting nivo for relapsed SCLC don't benefit.

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