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Nivolumab combination therapy in advanced esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma

New England Journal of Medicine Feb 08, 2022

In patients with advanced esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma, first-line chemotherapy is associated with poor outcomes. Researchers herein examined if incorporation of immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as nivolumab and ipilimumab, into the first line treatment could aid in improving outcomes in these patients.

  • In this open-label, phase 3 trial, 970 patients with previously untreated, unresectable advanced, recurrent, or metastatic esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive nivolumab plus chemotherapy, nivolumab plus the monoclonal antibody ipilimumab, or chemotherapy.

  • Patients with advanced esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma had significantly longer overall survival in correlation with receiving both first-line treatment with nivolumab plus chemotherapy and first-line treatment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab when compared with chemotherapy alone, with no new safety signals identified.

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