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Emerging data on nivolumab for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology  (IF3.869),  Pub Date : 2021-07-12, DOI: 10.1080/17474124.2021.1948836



Esophageal cancer (EC) is the seventh most common malignancy in the world. The standard treatment for advanced EC patients is systemic chemotherapy, but few effective cytotoxic agents are available. Recently, nivolumab, a human monoclonal immunoglobulin G4 antibody that inhibits programmed cell death protein 1, has been tested for the treatment of advanced squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients. The ATTRACTION-1 trial showed a promising efficacy of nivolumab monotherapy for advanced ESCC patients after prior chemotherapy. The ATTRACTION-3 phase III trial showed the superiority of nivolumab monotherapy over taxane monotherapy for advanced ESCC patients as a second-line treatment. The CheckMate-577 trial also showed survival benefits of postoperative nivolumab monotherapy in patients with resectable EC.

Areas covered

This review mainly outlines emerging data on nivolumab for patients with advanced ESCC after prior chemotherapy. Additionally, this review includes data from the CheckMate-577 trial for patients with resectable EC.

Expert opinion

Nivolumab has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment after prior chemotherapy in patients with advanced ESCC. Several trials evaluating nivolumab-containing treatments are ongoing in patients with not only advanced EC, but also locally advanced EC, and these investigational treatments might improve the clinical outcomes of EC patients.