Third-Line Nivolumab Monotherapy in Recurrent SCLC: CheckMate 032

J Thorac Oncol. 2019 Feb;14(2):237-244. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2018.10.003. Epub 2018 Oct 10.


Introduction: For patients with recurrent SCLC, topotecan remains the only approved second-line treatment, and the outcomes are poor. CheckMate 032 is a phase 1/2, multicenter, open-label study of nivolumab or nivolumab plus ipilimumab in SCLC or other advanced/metastatic solid tumors previously treated with one or more platinum-based chemotherapies. We report results of third- or later-line nivolumab monotherapy treatment in SCLC.

Methods: In this analysis, patients with limited-stage or extensive-stage SCLC and disease progression after two or more chemotherapy regimens received nivolumab monotherapy, 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks, until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was objective response rate. Secondary end points included duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety.

Results: Between December 4, 2013, and November 30, 2016, 109 patients began receiving third- or later-line nivolumab monotherapy. At a median follow-up of 28.3 months (from first dose to database lock), the objective response rate was 11.9% (95% confidence interval: 6.5-19.5) with a median duration of response of 17.9 months (range 3.0-42.1). At 6 months, 17.2% of patients were progression-free. The 12-month and 18-month overall survival rates were 28.3% and 20.0%, respectively. Grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 11.9% of patients. Three patients (2.8%) discontinued because of treatment-related adverse events.

Conclusions: Nivolumab monotherapy provided durable responses and was well tolerated as a third- or later-line treatment for recurrent SCLC. These results suggest that nivolumab monotherapy is an effective third- or later-line treatment for this patient population.

Keywords: Immunotherapy; Nivolumab; PD-1 inhibitor; SCLC; Third-line.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • B7-H1 Antigen / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nivolumab / adverse effects
  • Nivolumab / therapeutic use*
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Retreatment
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / secondary
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • Nivolumab