Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab in addition to chemotherapy for treating non-small cell lung cancer – first line
Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab in addition to standard of care chemotherapy is in clinical development for the treatment of metastatic (stage 4) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC accounts for the majority of lung cancer cases. The main symptoms of NSCLC include persistent cough, shortness of breath and coughing up blood. Factors increasing the risk of developing lung cancer include smoking tobacco, radiation and chemical exposure, previous lung disease, family history of lung cancer and certain genetic mutations.
Nivolumab works by binding to a receptor called programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor, which blocks the proteins PD-L1 and PD-L2 from interacting with it. This stimulates immune cells to attack tumours, slowing their growth. Ipilimumab works in the same way but by blocking the effect of a different protein, CTLA-4. It is thought these drugs in combination may result in an improved or greater anti-tumour effect. If licenced, Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab in addition to standard of care chemotherapy would provide an additional first-line treatment option for patients with metastatic NSCLC.