Nivolumab for second-line treatment of metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer

Amanda Rounds, Jill Kolesar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose. The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, efficacy, toxicity, and place in therapy of nivolumab, a novel immunotherapy agent for the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) of the squamous cell subtype are reviewed. Summary: Nivolumab is a novel programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor indicated as a secondline treatment for patients with NSCLC whose tumors exhibit squamous cell histology. Nivolumab has high affinity for the PD-1 receptor, and durable responses to treatment have been reported in clinical trials. In a Phase II study evaluating the drug's safety and efficacy in patients who had disease progression despite treatment with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy and at least one additional systemic therapy, nivolumab-treated patients had an objective response rate of 14.5%, with a 17% rate of grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events; overall survival at one year was 40.8%. A head-to-head comparison of docetaxel and nivolumab for secondline treatment of squamous cell NSCLC demonstrated superior overall survival and reduced grade 3 or 4 adverse effects in nivolumab-treated patients. Conclusion: Nivolumab is a novel PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor that is effective for treating advanced squamous NSCLC in patients previously treated with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy or alternative first-line agents. Based on its improved efficacy and lower toxicity relative to docetaxel, nivolumab should be considered standard second-line therapy for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1855
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Nivolumab for second-line treatment of metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this