Nivolumab is in development for the treatment of platinum-resistant, advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. The symptoms of the disease are vague, including loss of appetite and tummy pain. This can mean that the cancer is often diagnosed when the disease is advanced and more difficult to treat. Most patients have the cancer removed by surgery and also receive chemotherapy, which usually includes platinum-based drugs. However, ovarian cancer often recurs and the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs may be less effective at treating this recurrence. If the cancer recurs within 6 months of the previous treatment, and platinum-based chemotherapy does not work, the disease is called ‘platinum resistant’.
Nivolumab works by improving the activity of white blood cells increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Currently patients with platinum resistant or recurrent ovarian cancer have few treatment options and if licensed, nivolumab could be an effective treatment option.
Selpercatinib is in clinical development for the treatment of metastatic RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer and at the metastatic stage the disease has already spread from the lungs to other sites. Around 2% of these patients will have tumours that contain fusion mutations in the RET gene. Cells in these tumour produce altered RET signalling receptors that allow uncontrolled cancer growth. Currently the only treatment options that attempt to inhibit RET fusion-positive tumour activity are nonselective multikinase inhibitors.