Use of Nivolumab in Cancer Treatment

US Brand Name(s): Opdivo

Use in Cancer Treatment

Nivolumab is for usage alone or in combination with other medications to treat:

  • Adults with classic Hodgkin lymphoma whose cancer has relapsed (come back) or worsened following either:
    • An autologous stem cell transplant with brentuximab vedotin1 therapy; or
    • There are at least three alternative options, including an autologous stem cell transplant.
  • Adults and children aged 12 and above are at risk for colorectal cancer. Nivolumab is a monoclonal antibody that is used alone or in combination with ipilimumab to treat metastatic microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) cancer that has progressed following therapy with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, or irinotecan hydrochloride.
  • Esophageal cancer, also known as gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, is a cancer of the oesophagus. 
    • Nivolumab is also for individuals who have had their esophageal cancer or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, followed by surgery to fully eradicate the malignancy, but cancer cells have been detected in the tumour or lymph nodes.
    • Patients whose esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cannot be surgically effective and has spread or returned following treatment with a fluoropyrimidine and platinum chemotherapy
  • Gastric (stomach) cancer, gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, or esophageal cancer that has spread are all examples of esophageal cancer that has spread. 
  • Nivolumab is a monoclonal antibody in combination with fluoropyrimidine and platinum treatment. Hepatocellular carcinoma is a form of cancer that affects the liver (a type of liver cancer). Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab for people who have already undergone the sorafenib treatment . 

Further Uses

  • Pleural mesothelioma (malignant pleural mesothelioma). In people with cancer for whom surgery will no longer be effective, nivolumab with the combination of ipilimumab as the initial therapy.
  • Melanoma. Nivolumab is for individuals whose cancer has spread or for those surgery will no longer be effective. Ipilimumab is occasionally used with nivolumab.
    • Melanoma that has migrated to the lymph nodes or metastasized in individuals who have had surgery to remove it.
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a kind of lung cancer. Nivolumab is a first-line therapy alongside ipilimumab in individuals with metastatic cancer who have the PD-L1 protein but no mutations in the EGFR or ALK genes.
    • In individuals with metastatic or recurrent cancer who do not have mutations in the EGFR or ALK genes, as a first-line treatment with ipilimumab and platinum chemotherapy.
    • Patients with metastatic cancer who have become worse during or after platinum chemotherapy treatment. Patients with cancer that has an EGFR or ALK gene mutation should only use nivolumab if their cancer has progressed after receiving FDA-approved therapy for these gene mutations.
  • Advanced renal cell carcinoma (a form of kidney cancer). Nivolumab is for individuals who have already undergone angiogenesis inhibitor treatment. The initial therapy is cabozantinib-s-malate. In certain cases, ipilimumab can be the initial therapy.
  • Metastatic or recurring squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Nivolumab is to treat individuals whose cancer has progressed during or after platinum chemotherapy.

 Detailed scientific definition – Definition from the NCI Drug Dictionary

Nivolumab Information on MedlinePlus

A summary of key information regarding this medication in layman’s terms, which may contain the following:

  • Cautions about this medicine
  • What is the use and how?
  • Whom should you consult before taking it?
  • What you should know about it before using it?
  • Other drugs that might interact with it
  • Possible negative effects

Drugs are frequently under research to see whether they can assist treat or prevent conditions other than those already prevalent. This patient information leaflet covers uses which have been under authorization. Much of the material, though, might also apply to authorized uses that are being investigated.