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Nivolumab Combo Shows Early Activity in Relapsed/Refractory AML

Caroline Seymour
Published: Monday, Dec 10, 2018

Dr. Naval Daver

Naval Daver, MD

The combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and azacitidine demonstrated favorable responses and overall survival (OS) in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to preliminary findings of a phase II study published in Cancer Discovery.1,2

“Over the last decade, 6 PD-1, PD-L2 and CTLA-4 antibodies have been approved for over 25 indications in 10 tumor types in the United States and Europe,” lead author Naval Daver, MD, an associate professor of leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in a statement. “However, single-agent PD-1 antibodies have shown little effect in patients with relapsed AML or high-risk [myelodysplastic syndromes]. This study was designed to assess whether the addition of nivolumab to azacitidine was safe and effective.”

Preclinical data have shown that blocking PD-1/PD-L1 pathways enhance anti-leukemic responses, and azacitidine upregulates PD-1 as well as interferon-γ signaling.

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