First-Line Nivolumab Plus Low-Dose Ipilimumab for Microsatellite Instability-High/Mismatch Repair-Deficient Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: The Phase II CheckMate 142 Study

J Clin Oncol. 2022 Jan 10;40(2):161-170. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.01015. Epub 2021 Oct 12.


Purpose: Nivolumab received US Food and Drug Administration approval as a single agent or in combination with ipilimumab in patients with microsatellite instability-high/mismatch repair-deficient (MSI-H/dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that progressed following treatment with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan based on CheckMate 142. Presented are results of nivolumab plus low-dose ipilimumab in the first-line therapy cohort from the phase II CheckMate 142 study.

Patients and methods: Patients with no prior treatment in the metastatic setting for MSI-H/dMMR CRC were treated with nivolumab every 2 weeks plus low-dose ipilimumab every 6 weeks until disease progression. The primary end point was objective response rate (investigator assessment; RECIST v1.1).

Results: Median age of treated patients was 66 years (N = 45). Median follow-up was 29.0 months. Objective response rate and disease control rate were 69% (95% CI, 53 to 82) and 84% (95% CI, 70.5 to 93.5), respectively, with 13% complete response rate. Median duration of response was not reached; 74% of responders had ongoing responses at data cutoff. Median progression-free survival and median overall survival were not reached with minimum follow-up of 24.2 months (24-month rates, 74% and 79%, respectively). Clinical benefit was observed regardless of baseline demographic and tumor characteristics, including BRAF or KRAS mutation status. In a post hoc analysis, of 14 patients who discontinued treatment and did not receive subsequent therapy, 10 remained progression-free. Patient-reported outcomes were stable over the treatment period. Grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 22% of patients; 13% discontinued because of any-grade treatment-related adverse events.

Conclusion: Nivolumab plus low-dose ipilimumab demonstrated robust and durable clinical benefit and was well tolerated as a first-line treatment for MSI-H/dMMR mCRC. Based on these promising data, randomized studies are warranted.

Trial registration: NCT02060188.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / immunology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • DNA Mismatch Repair*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Ipilimumab / administration & dosage*
  • Ipilimumab / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Instability*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Nivolumab / administration & dosage*
  • Nivolumab / adverse effects
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • Ipilimumab
  • Nivolumab

Associated data