checkmate 743 shows that dual immunotherapy, nivolumab + ipilimumab

Improves overall survival for patients with previously untreated mesothelioma

Denver–(Embargoed for 7 a.m. EST August 8, 2020) The combination of first-line nivolumab and ipilimumab demonstrated an improvement of overall survival for patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma compared to platinum-based chemotherapy, according to research presented today at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Virtual Presidential Symposium.

The study is presented by Paul Baas, M.D., from The Netherlands Cancer Institute and The University of Leiden, in Amsterdam. Watch a video of Dr. Baas explaining his research here: https://vimeo.com/443190432/32a40271f0

Nivolumab is an immunotherapy that works as a checkpoint inhibitor, blocking a signal that prevents activation of T cells from attacking the cancer. Ipilimumab is a monoclonal antibody that works to activate the immune system by targeting CTLA-4, a protein receptor that downregulates the immune system. When administered in combination, this dual immunotherapy has shown clinical benefit in 6 different tumor types, including mesothelioma.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a highly aggressive cancer with a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent. Current standard of care treatment is chemotherapy with few treatment advances in the last 15 years.

In this large phase III study, Dr. Baas and the global study investigators randomly assigned more than 600 patients: 303 to the nivolumab + ipilimumab arm and 302 to the chemotherapy arm. The study had a minimal follow up of close to two years. Two-year overall survival rates were 40.8% for the patients in the experimental treatment arm vs 27.0% in chemotherapy arm. Of the 30.3% of patients in the study-combination group who experienced grade 3-4 adverse events, 15% discontinued therapy compared with 7.4% of the 32.0% of patients in chemotherapy group.

“CheckMate 743 met its primary endpoint of statistically improved OS with nivolumab + ipilimumab vs standard of care chemotherapy in first-line treatment of patients with mesothelioma,” said Dr. Baas. “These clinically meaningful data represent the first positive phase 3 trial of immunotherapy in first-line MPM and should be considered as a new standard of care.”

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About the IASLC:
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes more than 7,500 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit http://www.iaslc.org for more information.

About the WCLC:
The WCLC is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, attracting more than 7,000 researchers, physicians and specialists from more than 100 countries. The goal is to increase awareness, collaboration and understanding of lung cancer, and to help participants implement the latest developments across the globe. The conference will cover a wide range of disciplines and unveil several research studies and clinical trial results. For more information, visit wclc2020.iaslc.org.

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