Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab is in clinical development for patients with advanced, recurrent or metastatic oesophageal squamous cell cancer that has not been treated previously. Advanced oesophageal cancer begins in the food pipe and spreads to other parts of the body. Squamous cell cancers develop from the cells that make up the inner lining of the oesophagus. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, persistent acid indigestion or heartburn, weight loss, pain in the throat, and chronic cough. Lifestyle factors are attributed to most oesophageal cancers, including smoking and being overweight.
Nivolumab and ipilimumab are immune therapy medicinal products that are currently licensed as a combination treatment of advanced cancers such as melanoma and kidney cancer. Nivolumab works by improving the activity of white blood cells (T-cells) thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Ipilimumab works in a different way but also to increase the activity of T-cells. It is thought that when used together, both drugs may be more effective than each on its own. Both drugs given by injection and the combination may offer a treatment option for patients with advanced, recurrent or metastatic oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma who have not been treated previously.
Avatrombopag is administered orally. It works by attaching to a hormone called thrombopoietin, which stimulates the production of platelets by attaching to receptors (targets) in the bone marrow and helping in increasing the platelet count. Avatrombopag does not interact with polyvalent cations (calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc, etc.) in foods, mineral supplements, or antacids that could reduce systemic exposure and efficacy. If licensed, avatrombopag will provide a treatment option for CIT in patients with active non-haematological cancers.