Five-Year Survival and Correlates among Patients with Advanced Melanoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma, or Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treated with Nivolumab

Suzanne L. Topalian*, F. Stephen Hodi, Julie R. Brahmer, Scott N. Gettinger, David C. Smith, David F. McDermott, John D. Powderly, Jeffrey A. Sosman, Michael B. Atkins, Philip D. Leming, David R. Spigel, Scott J. Antonia, Alexander Drilon, Jedd D. Wolchok, Richard D. Carvajal, M. Brent McHenry, Fareeda Hosein, Christopher T. Harbison, Joseph F. Grosso, Mario Sznol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Importance: Nivolumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits programmed cell death 1, is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating advanced melanoma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and other malignancies. Data on long-term survival among patients receiving nivolumab are limited. Objectives: To analyze long-term overall survival (OS) among patients receiving nivolumab and identify clinical and laboratory measures associated with tumor regression and OS. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a secondary analysis of the phase 1 CA209-003 trial (with expansion cohorts), which was conducted at 13 US medical centers and included 270 patients with advanced melanoma, RCC, or NSCLC who received nivolumab and were enrolled between October 30, 2008, and December 28, 2011. The analyses were either specified in the original protocol or included in subsequent protocol amendments that were implemented between 2008 and 2012. Statistical analysis was performed from October 30, 2008, to November 11, 2016. Intervention: In the CA209-003 trial, patients received nivolumab (0.1-10.0 mg/kg) every 2 weeks in 8-week cycles for up to 96 weeks, unless they developed progressive disease, achieved a complete response, experienced unacceptable toxic effects, or withdrew consent. Main Outcomes and Measures: Safety and activity of nivolumab; OS was a post hoc end point with a minimum follow-up of 58.3 months. Results: Of 270 patients included in this analysis, 107 (39.6%) had melanoma (72 [67.3%] male; median age, 61 [range, 29-85] years), 34 (12.6%) had RCC (26 [76.5%] male; median age, 58 [range, 35-74] years), and 129 (47.8%) had NSCLC (79 [61.2%] male; median age, 65 [range, 38-85] years). Overall survival curves showed estimated 5-year rates of 34.2% among patients with melanoma, 27.7% among patients with RCC, and 15.6% among patients with NSCLC. In a multivariable analysis, the presence of liver (odds ratio [OR], 0.31; 95% CI, 0.12-0.83; P =.02) or bone metastases (OR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.10-0.93; P =.04) was independently associated with reduced likelihood of survival at 5 years, whereas an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 (OR, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.43-5.27; P =.003) was independently associated with an increased likelihood of 5-year survival. Overall survival was significantly longer among patients with treatment-related AEs of any grade (median, 19.8 months; 95% CI, 13.8-26.9 months) or grade 3 or more (median, 20.3 months; 95% CI, 12.5-44.9 months) compared with those without treatment-related AEs (median, 5.8 months; 95% CI, 4.6-7.8 months) (P <.001 for both comparisons based on hazard ratios). Conclusions and Relevance: Nivolumab treatment was associated with long-term survival in a subset of heavily pretreated patients with advanced melanoma, RCC, or NSCLC. Characterizing factors associated with long-term survival may inform treatment approaches and strategies for future clinical trial development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1411-1420
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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