The [ combination immunotherapy consisting ] of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) offers a durable, long-term survival benefit over chemotherapy for patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), confirms a 3-year updated analysis of the CheckMate 743 trial.
After 3 years, 23% of patients who received combination immunotherapy were still alive, in comparison with 15% of patients in the chemotherapy arm.
Combination immunotherapy continued to provide a “durable and long-term benefit” compared with chemotherapy, commented Solange Peters, MD, from the Oncology Department, Center Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The new data from the additional 12 months of follow-up “confirm nivolumab plus ipilimumab as a standard of care for unresectable MPM, regardless of histology,” she commented.
She presented the update on September 17 at the annual meeting of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO). She is the current president of the organization.
Previously, 2-year data from this study showed that the combination yielded a median overall survival of 18.1 months, compared to 14.1 months with standard-of-care chemotherapy.
As reported by Medscape Medical News, this translated into a 26% improvement in overall survival; 41% of patients in the immunotherapy arm were still alive at 2 years, vs 27% in the chemotherapy group.
On the basis of these data, the combination was subsequently approved in the United States, the European Union, and elsewhere for the first-line treatment of adults with unresectable MPM.
The new data come from a 3-year update, as well as an exploratory biomarker analysis. The new data show significantly improved overall survival with the combination immunotherapy. Among those who responded to immunotherapy, response was ongoing for 28% of patients at 3 years.
Benefit was seen even for patients who discontinued the treatment because of treatment-related adverse events, indicating that discontinuance does not appear to have a negative impact on the long-term benefits, Peters commented.
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