Successful Treatment of an Aggressive Tracheal Malignancy With Immunotherapy

Ann Thorac Surg. 2017 Feb;103(2):e123-e125. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.08.021.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors are emerging as therapeutic options for oncology patients in whom conventional treatment regimens have failed. These immunotherapies counteract tumor-induced tolerance and have been shown to be effective in thoracic malignancies, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This report highlights the successful use of nivolumab-an immunotherapeutic agent that binds to proteins involved in T-cell proliferation-for the management of recurrent tracheal squamous cell cancer after exhaustion of conventional surgical, chemotherapeutic, and radiation therapy options. Observations provide a strong indication of the potential value of checkpoint inhibitors for managing a wide array of thoracic malignancies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Bronchoscopy / methods
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nivolumab
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tracheal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Nivolumab