The gist: Researchers found that the drug nivolumab (Opdivo) worked so much better than chemotherapy for certain lung cancer patients that they stopped a clinical trial early. The researchers were testing Opdivo in people with advanced, squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that had been previously treated. Opdivo is an immunotherapy, meaning that it boosts a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that an open-label, randomized Phase 3 study evaluating Opdivo versus docetaxel in previously treated patients with advanced, squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was stopped early because an assessment conducted by the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) concluded that the study met its endpoint, demonstrating superior overall survival in patients receiving Opdivo compared to the control arm. The company will share these data – which for the first time indicate a survival advantage with an anti-PD1 immune checkpoint inhibitor in lung cancer – with health authorities.
“CheckMate -017 investigators are being informed of the decision to stop the comparative portion of the trial. Bristol-Myers Squibb is working to ensure that eligible patients will be informed of the opportunity to continue or start treatment with Opdivo in an open-label extension as part of the company’s commitment to providing patient access to Opdivo, and characterizing long-term survival. The company will complete a full evaluation of the final CheckMate -017 data and work with investigators on the future presentation and publication of the results.”