Background Nivolumab is a human monoclonal antibody against the programmed death-1 receptor (PD-1) that prevents inactivation of T lymphocytes.
Purpose To assess the efficacy and safety of nivolumab in squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Material and methods This was a retrospective descriptive study of patients with squamous NSCLC who were treated with nivolumab from November 2015 to August 2016. The dose of nivolumab administered was 3 mg/kg as an intravenous infusion every 2 weeks and all patients were premedicated with granisetron 1 mg intravenously. Overall survival (OS) was considered as a measure of efficacy, obtained by the Kaplan–Meier method and defined as the time elapsed from the start of the treatment until the patient died, excluding those patients who had not died at the end of the study.
Results 8 patients (6 men and 2 women) were included, all with stages IIIa-b and IV, who were ex-smokers, except for 1 patient who still smoked 4 cigarettes/day. Only 1 patient had brain metastases at baseline. Mean age was 64±12 years and mean pre-nivolumab lines of chemotherapy were 2.12±1.35. Regarding the functional status of patients, 4 had an ECOG of 2 and the remaining 4 patients had an ECOG of 0 or 1. 2 patients died during the study period. Brain metastases were evidenced in 1 patient due to nivolumab progression. The other 5 patients remained stable. Median OS was 5 months (95% CI 3.56–6.43). Regarding safety profile, most patients reported asthenia, muscle weakness, loss of appetite and/or cough. However, in none of the cases did this result in suspension or delay of treatment.
Conclusion The median OS obtained in our study was lower than that published in the CheckMate 017 study (5 vs 9.2 months), with an acceptable safety profile. However, it should be considered that in our case, 4 patients had an ECOG of 2, whereas in the CheckMate 017 study all patients had an ECOG of 0 or 1 (20% and 79%, respectively) which, together with the small sample size, can justify the results obtained.
References and/or acknowledgements Brahmer J, et al. Nivolumab versus docetaxel in advanced squamous-cell non-small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med 2015;0:1–13.
No conflict of interest
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