Bristol Myers Squibb’s (BMS) immunotherapy Opdivo, when administered alongside chemotherapy or Yervoy, demonstrated significant overall survival (OS) benefit compared to chemotherapy alone in advanced/metastatic oesophageal cancer patients.

Interim analysis data from the Phase III CheckMate-648 trial found that Opdivo (nivolumab) plus chemotherapy achieved a median OS rate of 15.4 months versus 9.1 months for chemotherapy alone in advanced/metastatic oesophageal cancer patients whose tumours expressed PD-L1.

In addition, the median OS was 13.7 months for the Opdivo plus Yervoy (ipilimumab) combination versus 9.1 months for chemotherapy in the same patient population,

In the all-randomised patient population, the Opdivo plus chemotherapy combination demonstrated a median OS of 13.2 months versus 10.7 months for chemotherapy alone.

Meanwhile, the Opdivo plus Yervoy combination treatment achieved a median OS of 12.8 months in the all-comer patient population versus 10.7 months for chemotherapy.

For the Opdivo plus chemotherapy combination, a statistically significant progression-free survival (PFS) was also observed in PD-L1 positive patients, with a median PFS of 6.9 months compared to chemotherapy alone.

However, Opdivo plus Yervoy did not meet the primary endpoint of PFS by blinded independent central review (BICR) in patients whose tumours express PD-L1.

“The outcomes of the CheckMate -648 study highlight the potential of these first-line nivolumab combination treatments to support patients with unresectable advanced or metastatic oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma live longer versus chemotherapy,” said Hubert Bland, executive medical director UK&I, Bristol Myers Squibb.

“We remain committed to providing alternative treatments where options are currently limited, and these latest results add to the growing knowledge in upper gastrointestinal cancers,” he added.