Nivolumab is a medicinal product that is being developed for the adjuvant treatment (after the primary treatment) of patients with resected oesophageal or gastro-oesophageal junction cancer. Oesophageal develops when abnormal cells in the gullet (oesophagus) grow in an uncontrolled way. The lower end of the oesophagus that joins the stomach is called the gastro oesophageal junction. Gastro oesophageal junction (GOJ) cancer develops at the point where the gullet joins the stomach, and is considered a separate type of cancer.
Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy that is currently licensed in the UK for the treatment of several types of cancers such as melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and kidney cancer. Nivolumab works by improving the activity of a type of white blood cells called T-cells through blocking a protein called programmed death -1 (PD-1) on the surface of T-cells and thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. If licensed, nivolumab will offer an adjuvant treatment option for patients with resected oesophageal or GOJ cancer, who currently have few effective adjuvant therapies available.
Brigatinib is a medicinal product that is being developed for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease have progressed following treatment with alectinib or ceritinib. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer although a small proportion of NSCLC patients have a rearrangement in the ALK gene. Locally advanced or metastatic cancer means cancer has spread outside the lungs where it started, to other parts of the body and cannot be cured. Current treatment with drugs such as alectinib or ceritinib are effective in slowing the disease and helping patients to live longer, although some patients eventually develop treatment resistance and will require other therapies.