Nivolumab plus ipilimumab combination therapy for the first-line treatment NSCLC: evidence to date

Cancer Manag Res. 2019 May 29:11:4893-4904. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S164935. eCollection 2019.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) as monotherapy in selected patients as well as in combination with chemotherapy have become the standard of care in the first-line treatment strategy of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Combination treatment with ICI, such as nivolumab and ipilimumab or durvaluamb and ipilimumab, has also been proposed as potential strategies in this setting in selected advanced NSCLC patients. Characterizing predictive markers of long-term clinical benefit with ICI is a critical objective. Tumor mutational burden has been proposed as a potential predictive biomarker. In this review, we discuss the efficacy of nivolumab and ipilimumab in advanced NSCLC patients as well as the clinical utility of tumor mutational burden in the efficacy of this combination. Ongoing clinical trials with nivolumab and ipilimumab, and the efficacy of this combination in subgroups of NSCLC patients, such as elderly patients and patients with brain metastases, are also discussed.

Keywords: CheckMate trial; ipilimumab; nivolumab; non-small cell lung cancer; tumor mutational burden.

Publication types

  • Review