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Ipilimumab: its potential in non-small cell lung cancer

By Pascale Tomasini, Nataliya Khobta, Laurent Greillier and Fabrice Barlesi


Ipilimumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that enhances antitumor immunity by way of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 blockade. It has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and is being investigated for treating other solid tumors such as renal cell, prostate and lung cancers. This review details the potential of ipilimumab in the management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In particular, ipilimumab showed promising results in a first-line NSCLC phase II study combining carboplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy with concurrent or phased ipilimumab. The median immune-related progression-free survival was 5.68 months for the phased ipilimumab arm versus 4.63 months for chemotherapy alone (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.68, p = 0.026) and 5.52 months for the concurrent ipilimumab arm versus 4.63 months for chemotherapy alone (HR = 0.77, p = 0.094). The main adverse events were immune related, such as hypophysitis, enterocolitis, and hyperthyroidism. These adverse events may be improved with high-dose glucocorticoids and may be correlated with tumor response. Phase III studies are ongoing. Future studies may investigate ipilimumab in the management of early stage lung cancer. Strategies for potential translational research studies are also discussed to identify prognostic and predictive biomarkers for the use of ipilimumab in the treatment of patients with NSCLC

Topics: Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology. Including cancer and carcinogens, RC254-282
Publisher: SAGE Publishing
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1758834011431718
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