Nivolumab - Pearls of Evidence

Nivolumab is one of the most extensively studied immune checkpoint inhibitors across various tumor types. In this narrative review, the current clinical efficacy and safety data of anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) nivolumab for nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and renal cell cancer (RCC) are elucidated.

Systematic search was done on Pubmed, Medline, Embase, Web of Knowledge, and Cochrane Central through September 2016 for controlled prospective interventional studies of nivolumab across two indications - NSCLC and RCC. There was heterogeneity at all levels of abstraction; hence, author did not plan to provide a meta-analysis, but instead, a narrative elaboration of results structured around the conceptual frameworks.

Checkpoint receptor PD-1 is a negative regulatory molecule expressed by activated T and B lymphocytes. Binding of PD-1 to its ligands, programmed death-ligands 1 and 2, results in the downregulation of lymphocyte activation. Nivolumab is a fully human PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor. Nivolumab inhibits the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands and promotes immune responses including antitumor immune response and antigen-specific T-cell responses to both foreign antigens as well as self-antigens. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration granted fast track designation for nivolumab in NSCLC, RCC, and melanoma.

The encouraging literature on nivolumab lends credibility to the promise of immune checkpoint blockade, not just in terms of its feasibility as an oncotherapeutic strategy but also as a key tool of the future in the therapeutic approaches against advanced cancers.

Indian journal of medical and paediatric oncology : official journal of Indian Society of Medical & Paediatric Oncology. 0000 Jan [Epub]

Pratishtha B Chaudhari

Department of Public Health, NMMC Hospital, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.