PD-1 inhibitors for oesophageal cancer

The antitumour activity of PD-1 inhibitors has been reported in several types of squamous cell cancers. In a multicentre, randomized, open-label, phase III trial, patients with previously treated, unresectable advanced or recurrent oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma were randomly assigned to receive nivolumab (a PD-1 inhibitor) or investigator’s choice of chemotherapy. Nivolumab was associated with a significant improvement in overall survival (P = 0.019) and a favourable safety profile compared with chemotherapy and might represent a new standard second-line treatment option for these patients.


Original article

  1. Kato, K. et al. Nivolumab versus chemotherapy in patients with advanced oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma refractory or intolerant to previous chemotherapy (ATTRACTION-3): a multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30626-6 (2019)

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Correspondence to Isobel Leake.

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Leake, I. PD-1 inhibitors for oesophageal cancer. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 16, 706 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-019-0237-4

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