Immunotherapy for gastric and esophageal cancer got support from three new studies reported during the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology virtual congress.
In the largest of these, adding nivolumab (Opdivo) to chemotherapy improved overall survival (OS) by two to three months in untreated advanced/metastatic gastric, gastroesophageal junction (GEJ), or esophageal cancer. The statistically significant improvement occurred in all patients and in analyses of two PD-L1-positive subgroups. Adding nivolumab to chemotherapy led to a two-month improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) but no survival benefit in a smaller study of Asian patients with untreated advanced or recurrent disease.
“Nivolumab is the first PD-1 inhibitor to demonstrate superior overall survival and PFS in combination with chemotherapy in previously untreated patients with advanced gastric, gastroesophageal junction, and esophageal adenocarcinoma,” said Markus Moehler, MD, of Johannes-Gutenberg University Clinic in Mainz, Germany and principal investigators in the larger nivolumab study. “We achieved statistical significance for