Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD
Using dual checkpoint inhibitors in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is demonstrating activity with a manageable safety profile in both second-line and perioperative settings, according to findings presented at the International Liver Cancer Association Annual Conference (ILCA 2019).
In updated data from the CheckMate-040 study, the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo), a PD-1 inhibitor, plus ipilimumab (Yervoy), a CTLA-4 inhibitor, demonstrated a favorable benefit–risk profile in patients previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar).1
In patients with resectable HCC, use of the combination before surgery was associated with a pathologic complete response (pCR) rate of 29% in a phase II study.2
The findings add to the growing body of data about the immunotherapy duo, which has been approved for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma; intermediate- or poor-risk, previously untreated renal cell carcinoma; and microsatellite instability–high or mismatch repair deficient metastatic colorectal cancer that has progressed after chemotherapy. In HCC, nivolumab monotherapy is approved for patients who have been previously treated with sorafenib.3CheckMate-040 Findings in Advanced Disease
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