First-line nivolumab + ipilimumab in advanced NSCLC: CheckMate 227 subpopulation analyses in Asian patients

K. J. O'Byrne, K. H. Lee, S. W. Kim, K. Park, M. Nishio, H. Sakai, Y. Ohe, T. Fukuhara, J. H. Kang, H. Daga, C. J. Yu, K. Hotta, H. Tanaka, M. Takeda, T. Yokoyama, F. E. Nathan, J. S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Nivolumab plus ipilimumab demonstrated clinically meaningful improvement in efficacy versus chemotherapy with a manageable safety profile in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and tumor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression ≥1% or <1% in Part 1 of CheckMate 227. Here we report efficacy and safety results for the Asian subpopulation. Methods: Patients with stage IV/recurrent NSCLC were randomized 1: 1: 1 to nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab monotherapy, or chemotherapy (PD-L1 ≥1%) or nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab plus chemotherapy, or chemotherapy (PD-L1 <1%). Overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, objective response rate, duration of response, and safety were evaluated among patients in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Results: In the Asian subpopulation with PD-L1 ≥1%, 81 patients received nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 81 received chemotherapy. Median OS was not reached with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus 24.8 months with chemotherapy; 3-year OS rate was 53% versus 37% [hazard ratio (HR), 0.72; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47-1.11]. The 3-year progression-free survival rate was 26% versus 7% (HR, 0.65; 95% CI 0.45-0.96), objective response rate was 56% versus 37%, and median duration of response was 29.0 months (95% CI 15.0 months-not reached) versus 6.9 months (95% CI 3.9-11.1 months). Similar results were observed regardless of tumor PD-L1 expression and in Japanese patients. Grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 40% of patients receiving nivolumab plus ipilimumab and 36% receiving chemotherapy, in the overall Asian subpopulation (tumor PD-L1 expression ≥1% and <1%); no new safety signals were identified. Conclusions: At 3-year follow-up, nivolumab plus ipilimumab provided durable long-term efficacy benefits versus chemotherapy regardless of tumor PD-L1 expression in the Asian subpopulation, including Japanese patients. Consistent with findings for all randomized patients, these data support the use of nivolumab plus ipilimumab as first-line treatment of Asian patients with advanced NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100394
JournalESMO Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Asia
  • ipilimumab
  • Japan
  • nivolumab
  • non-small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'First-line nivolumab + ipilimumab in advanced NSCLC: CheckMate 227 subpopulation analyses in Asian patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this