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This search function provides links to outputs produced by NIHR Innovation Observatory. These are briefing notes or reports on new or repurposed technologies. This search will not return all technologies currently in development as these outputs are produced as required for our stakeholders.

Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma – first line

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Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma – first line

Drugs

Cancer and Palliative Care

April 2019


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.

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