Bristol-Myers Squibb’s PD-1 inhibitor Opdivo has shown a long-term survival benefit for patients with pre-treated non-small cell lung cancer.

Data from the Phase III CheckMate-057 study showed that the drug continued to show superior overall survival, with an estimated 39% of patients taking Opdivo (nivolumab) alive at 18 months versus 23% taking docetaxel, based on a minimum follow-up of 17.1 months.

Opdivo also continued to show a reduction in the risk of death by 28%, while it also seemed to fare better on the safety side too, with 10% of patients reporting Grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events versus 54% in the docetaxel arm.

Data from the trial have been accepted for regulatory review on both sides of the Atlantic to expand Opdivo’s indications to include previously treated patients with non-squamous NSCLC.

Survival benefit in kidney cancer

Publication of the findings came just two days after results from the CheckMate-025 trial were published, showing that BMS’ drug improved overall survival in pre-treated patients with renal cell carcinoma.

In the trial, which was halted early back in July, Opdivo showed a median overall survival benefit of 25 months compared to 19.6 months for Novartis’ Afinitor (everolimus), the current standard of care in the treatment of advanced kidney cancer, while no new safety signals were recorded.

“Patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma are in need of new treatment approaches that provide improved survival, safety and tolerability,” said Robert Motzer, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and lead author of the NEJM published data, noting that this is “the first Phase III study to demonstrate the efficacy of an immune checkpoint inhibitor in advanced renal cell carcinoma”.