- The trial Checkmate-025 was stopped early after Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) proved more effective than the standard of care everolimus in providing a survival advantage to advanced kidney cancer patients.
- The trial was expcted to continue until February 2016---based on an already expedited timeline.
- Renal cell carcinoma leads to more than 100,000 deaths in year in the U.S.
Opdivo has had one success after another, starting in December 2014, with its first FDA approval for advanced metastatic melanoma, and then in March 2015, when Opdivo became the first PD-1 inhibitor approved for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Now, less than seven months after the first approval, Opdivo has a third indication for treatment of renal cell carcinoma. In fact, the unmet medical need associated with advanced kidney cancer is acute, as the five-year survival rate is 12.1%.
Cancer immunotherapy is continuing to shift the oncology treatment landscape in a positive direction---although cost concerns often loom just as large as excitement about new treatment options.