Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab is in clinical development as a neoadjuvant treatment for early stage (stage IB-IIIA), resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer. Early stage lung cancer is typically treated with surgery consisting of removing either part of the affected lung or the whole lung, followed by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. However, the long-term outlook for patients undergoing this treatment pathway is still poor. Neoadjuvant therapy, which is administered prior to surgery to reduce the tumour size, may provide better long-term survival prospects for patients with early-stage operable NSCLC.
Nivolumab is a medicinal product called an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It works by improving the activity of white blood cells (T-cells) thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Ipilimumab has a different mode of action but also increases the activity of T-cells against the cancer cells. If licensed, nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab may offer an additional treatment option for patients with early-stage, operable NSCLC.
Atezolizumab is in clinical development, in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy, for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer, who have received no prior systemic therapy (a drug which travels through the bloodstream and affects the whole body). Urothelial cancer, a subset of bladder cancer, occurs on the lining of the bladder, and other parts of the urinary system. In advanced urothelial cancer, the cancer has grown into deeper layers including connective tissue or muscle. Metastatic urothelial cancer occurs when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or bones.