OESOPHAGEAL CANCER

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.

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  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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