Ipilimumab in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin as first-line therapy in extensive-disease-small-cell lung cancer: results from a randomized, double-blind, multicenter phase 2 trial

Ann Oncol. 2013 Jan;24(1):75-83. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds213. Epub 2012 Aug 2.


Background: Ipilimumab, an anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody, demonstrated survival benefit in melanoma with immune-related (ir) adverse events (irAEs) managed by the protocol-defined guidelines. This phase 2 study evaluated ipilimumab+paclitaxel (Taxol)/carboplatin in extensive-disease-small-cell lung cancer (ED-SCLC).

Design: Patients (n=130) with chemotherapy-naïve ED-SCLC were randomized 1: 1: 1 to receive paclitaxel (175 mg/m2)/carboplatin (area under the curve=6) with either placebo (control) or ipilimumab 10 mg/kg in two alternative regimens, concurrent ipilimumab (ipilimumab+paclitaxel/carboplatin followed by placebo+paclitaxel/carboplatin) or phased ipilimumab (placebo+paclitaxel/carboplatin followed by ipilimumab+paclitaxel/carboplatin). Treatment was administered every 3 weeks for a maximum of 18 weeks (induction), followed by maintenance ipilimumab or placebo every 12 weeks. End points included progression-free survival (PFS), irPFS, best overall response rate (BORR); irBORR, overall survival (OS), and safety.

Results: Phased ipilimumab, but not concurrent ipilimumab, improved irPFS versus control [HR (hazard ratio)=0.64; P=0.03]. No improvement in PFS (HR=0.93; P=0.37) or OS (HR=0.75; P=0.13) occurred. Phased ipilimumab, concurrent ipilimumab and control, respectively, were associated with median irPFS of 6.4, 5.7 and 5.3 months; median PFS of 5.2, 3.9 and 5.2 months; median OS of 12.9, 9.1 and 9.9 months. Overall rates of grade 3/4 irAEs were 17, 21 and 9% for phased ipilimumab, concurrent ipilimumab and control, respectively.

Conclusion: These results suggest further investigation of ipilimumab in ED-SCLC.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Ipilimumab
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Placebos


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Ipilimumab
  • Placebos
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel