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N Engl J Med. 2018 May 31;378(22):2093-2104. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1801946. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Nivolumab plus Ipilimumab in Lung Cancer with a High Tumor Mutational Burden.

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From Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Hospital, New York (M.D.H.); Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuta Institute of Oncology and Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie Iuliu Hatieganu, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (T.-E.C.); Centrum Onkologii-Instytut im. Marii Sklodowskiej-Curie, Warsaw, Poland (A.P.); Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul, South Korea (J.S.L.); Ohio State University, Columbus (G.A.O.); Hôpital Sainte Musse, Toulon, France (C.A.-V.); Ospedale Santa Maria della Misericordia, Perugia, Italy (E.M.); First Department of Oncology, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece (H.L.); Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis, Amsterdam (S.B.); Fundación Arturo López Pérez, Santiago, Chile (P.S.); Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia (H.B.); Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta (S.S.R.); Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore (J.B.); LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Grosshansdorf, Germany (M.R.); Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia (K.J.O.); Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ (W.J.G., G.G., H.C., J.S., P.B., D.H., Y.F., F.N.); and Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas, Universidad Complutense, and CiberOnc, Madrid (L.P.-A.).



Nivolumab plus ipilimumab showed promising efficacy for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a phase 1 trial, and tumor mutational burden has emerged as a potential biomarker of benefit. In this part of an open-label, multipart, phase 3 trial, we examined progression-free survival with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus chemotherapy among patients with a high tumor mutational burden (≥10 mutations per megabase).


We enrolled patients with stage IV or recurrent NSCLC that was not previously treated with chemotherapy. Those with a level of tumor programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression of at least 1% were randomly assigned, in a 1:1:1 ratio, to receive nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab monotherapy, or chemotherapy; those with a tumor PD-L1 expression level of less than 1% were randomly assigned, in a 1:1:1 ratio, to receive nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab plus chemotherapy, or chemotherapy. Tumor mutational burden was determined by the FoundationOne CDx assay.


Progression-free survival among patients with a high tumor mutational burden was significantly longer with nivolumab plus ipilimumab than with chemotherapy. The 1-year progression-free survival rate was 42.6% with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus 13.2% with chemotherapy, and the median progression-free survival was 7.2 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.5 to 13.2) versus 5.5 months (95% CI, 4.4 to 5.8) (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.58; 97.5% CI, 0.41 to 0.81; P<0.001). The objective response rate was 45.3% with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 26.9% with chemotherapy. The benefit of nivolumab plus ipilimumab over chemotherapy was broadly consistent within subgroups, including patients with a PD-L1 expression level of at least 1% and those with a level of less than 1%. The rate of grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events was 31.2% with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 36.1% with chemotherapy. ical; CheckMate 227 number, NCT02477826 .).


Progression-free survival was significantly longer with first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab than with chemotherapy among patients with NSCLC and a high tumor mutational burden, irrespective of PD-L1 expression level. The results validate the benefit of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in NSCLC and the role of tumor mutational burden as a biomarker for patient selection. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceut

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