First-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus chemotherapy in patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma: 3-year outcomes from CheckMate 743

Ann Oncol. 2022 May;33(5):488-499. doi: 10.1016/j.annonc.2022.01.074. Epub 2022 Feb 3.


Background: In the phase III CheckMate 743 study (NCT02899299), first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab significantly improved overall survival (OS) versus chemotherapy in patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). We report updated data with 3-year minimum follow-up.

Patients and methods: Adults with previously untreated, histologically confirmed, unresectable MPM and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of ≤1 were randomized 1 : 1 to nivolumab (3 mg/kg every 2 weeks) plus ipilimumab (1 mg/kg every 6 weeks) for up to 2 years, or six cycles of platinum plus pemetrexed chemotherapy. This report includes updated efficacy and safety outcomes, exploratory biomarker analyses including four-gene inflammatory expression signature score, and a post hoc efficacy analysis in patients who discontinued treatment due to treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs).

Results: With a median follow-up of 43.1 months, nivolumab plus ipilimumab continued to prolong OS versus chemotherapy. Median OS was 18.1 versus 14.1 months [hazard ratio (95% confidence interval), 0.73 (0.61-0.87)], and 3-year OS rates were 23% versus 15%, respectively. Three-year progression-free survival rates were 14% versus 1%, and objective response rates were 40% versus 44%. At 3 years, 28% versus 0% of responders had an ongoing response. Improved survival benefit with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus chemotherapy was observed across subgroups, including histology. A high score of the four-gene inflammatory signature appeared to correlate with improved survival benefit with nivolumab plus ipilimumab. No new safety signals were observed with nivolumab plus ipilimumab, despite patients being off therapy for 1 year. In patients who discontinued nivolumab plus ipilimumab due to TRAEs, median OS was 25.4 months, and 34% of responders maintained their responses for ≥3 years after discontinuation.

Conclusions: With 3 years' minimum follow-up, nivolumab plus ipilimumab continued to provide long-term survival benefit over chemotherapy and a manageable safety profile, supporting the regimen as standard-of-care treatment for unresectable MPM, regardless of histology.

Keywords: CTLA-4; PD-L1; dual immunotherapy; first-line; immune checkpoint inhibitors; overall survival.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Ipilimumab / adverse effects
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant*
  • Nivolumab* / therapeutic use
  • Progression-Free Survival


  • Ipilimumab
  • Nivolumab

Associated data