Methods: In a phase 3, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, we assigned patients with muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma who had undergone radical surgery to receive, in a 1:1 ratio, either nivolumab (240 mg intravenously) or placebo every 2 weeks for up to 1 year. Neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy before trial entry was allowed. The primary end points were disease-free survival among all the patients (intention-to-treat population) and among patients with a tumor programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression level of 1% or more. Survival free from recurrence outside the urothelial tract was a secondary end point.
Results: A total of 353 patients were assigned to receive nivolumab and 356 to receive placebo. The median disease-free survival in the intention-to-treat population was 20.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.5 to 27.6) with nivolumab and 10.8 months (95% CI, 8.3 to 13.9) with placebo. The percentage of patients who were alive and disease-free at 6 months was 74.9% with nivolumab and 60.3% with placebo (hazard ratio for disease recurrence or death, 0.70; 98.22% CI, 0.55 to 0.90; P<0.001). Among patients with a PD-L1 expression level of 1% or more, the percentage of patients was 74.5% and 55.7%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.55; 98.72% CI, 0.35 to 0.85; P<0.001). The median survival free from recurrence outside the urothelial tract in the intention-to-treat population was 22.9 months (95% CI, 19.2 to 33.4) with nivolumab and 13.7 months (95% CI, 8.4 to 20.3) with placebo. The percentage of patients who were alive and free from recurrence outside the urothelial tract at 6 months was 77.0% with nivolumab and 62.7% with placebo (hazard ratio for recurrence outside the urothelial tract or death, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.89). Among patients with a PD-L1 expression level of 1% or more, the percentage of patients was 75.3% and 56.7%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.79). Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or higher occurred in 17.9% of the nivolumab group and 7.2% of the placebo group. Two treatment-related deaths due to pneumonitis were noted in the nivolumab group.
Conclusions: In this trial involving patients with high-risk muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma who had undergone radical surgery, disease-free survival was longer with adjuvant nivolumab than with placebo in the intention-to-treat population and among patients with a PD-L1 expression level of 1% or more. (Funded by Bristol Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical; CheckMate 274 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02632409.).
Dean F Bajorin,1 J Alfred Witjes,1 Jürgen E Gschwend,1 Michael Schenker,1 Begoña P Valderrama,1 Yoshihiko Tomita,1 Aristotelis Bamias,1 Thierry Lebret,1 Shahrokh F Shariat, Se Hoon Park, Dingwei Ye, Mads Agerbaek, Deborah Enting, Ray McDermott, Pablo Gajate, Avivit Peer, Matthew I Milowsky, Alexander Nosov, João Neif Antonio Jr, Krzysztof Tupikowski, Laurence Toms, Bruce S Fischer, Anila Qureshi, Sandra Collette, Keziban Unsal-Kacmaz, Edward Broughton, Dimitrios Zardavas, Henry B Koon, Matthew D Galsky
Source: Bajorin DF, Witjes JA, Gschwend JE, Schenker M, Valderrama BP, Tomita Y, et al. Adjuvant Nivolumab versus Placebo in Muscle-Invasive Urothelial Carcinoma. N Engl J Med. 2021;384(22):2102–14. PMID: 34077643