Indirect comparison of pembrolizumab monotherapy versus nivolumab + ipilimumab in first-line metastatic lung cancer

Immunotherapy. 2022 Apr;14(5):295-307. doi: 10.2217/imt-2021-0273. Epub 2022 Jan 25.


Aim: This study indirectly compared the effectiveness of pembrolizumab monotherapy versus nivolumab + ipilimumab in metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. Materials and methods: A matching-adjusted indirect comparison was conducted using pooled individual patient data from KEYNOTE-024 and KEYNOTE-042 and published aggregate data from CheckMate 227 Part 1A, with platinum doublet chemotherapy as the anchor. Results: After matching, estimated hazard ratios (95% CI) of pembrolizumab monotherapy versus nivolumab + ipilimumab for overall survival and progression-free survival were 1.07 (0.82, 1.39) and 1.16 (0.93, 1.45), respectively. For objective response rate, the estimated risk ratio (95% CI) was 0.93 (0.71, 1.22) and the risk difference (95% CI) was -2.86%(-11.38, 5.67). Conclusion: Matching-adjusted indirect comparison results demonstrated comparable effectiveness between pembrolizumab monotherapy and nivolumab + ipilimumab as first-line therapies for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer with PD-L1 tumor-proportion score ≥1%.

Trial registration: NCT02142738 NCT02220894.

Keywords: comparative effectiveness; nivolumab; non-small-cell lung cancer; pembrolizumab.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung*
  • Humans
  • Ipilimumab / therapeutic use
  • Lung Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Nivolumab / therapeutic use


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Ipilimumab
  • Nivolumab
  • pembrolizumab

Associated data