Hope for Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

From HemOnc Today:

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab led to durable responses in previously treated patients with small cell lung cancer, according to results from the CheckMate 032 trial presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.

“Unfortunately, outcomes and treatment options for patients with recurrent small cell lung cancer are poor,” Matthew David Hellmann, MD, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said during his presentation. “New breakthroughs in the space are critically needed.”

The CheckMate 032 trial aims to evaluate multiple regimens of nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) with or without ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb) in various tumor types.

Based on early data demonstrating tolerability and efficacy in a nonrandomized cohort of patients with recurrent small cell lung cancer, researchers conducted longer-term follow-up and added a randomized expansion cohort of these patients.

“Unlike non–small cell lung cancer and other diseases, in small cell lung cancer, PD-L1 expression appears to be both uncommon and unhelpful for enriching for response,” Hellmann said. “Moreover, response rates to both nivolumab and nivolumab plus ipilimumab were actually numerically higher in those who had no PD-L1 expression, compared with those who had any PD-L1 expression.”
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