Background: Gemcitabine and cisplatin has limited benefit as treatment for advanced biliary tract cancer (BTC). The addition of an anti-programmed death receptor (PD-1)/PD-ligand (L1) antibody to either systemic chemotherapy or anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA4) antibody has shown benefit in multiple solid tumors. Methods: In this phase 2 trial, patients 18 years or older with advanced BTC without prior systemic therapy and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status 0–1 were randomized across six academic centers. Patients in Arm A received nivolumab (360 mg) on day 1 along with gemcitabine and cisplatin on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks for 6 months followed by nivolumab (240 mg) every 2 weeks. Patients in Arm B received nivolumab (240 mg) every 2 weeks and ipilimumab (1 mg/kg) every 6 weeks. Results: Of 75 randomized patients, 68 received therapy (Arm A = 35, Arm B = 33); 51.5% women with a median age of 62.5 years. The observed primary outcome of 6-month progression-free survival (PFS) rates in the evaluable population was 59.4% in Arm A and 21.2% in Arm B. The median PFS and overall survival (OS) in Arm A were 6.6 and 10.6 months, and in Arm B 3.9 and 8.2 months, respectively, in patients who received any treatment. The most common treatment-related grade 3 or higher hematologic adverse event was neutropenia in 34.3% (Arm A) and nonhematologic adverse events were fatigue (8.6% Arm A) and elevated transaminases (9.1% Arm B). Conclusions: The addition of nivolumab to chemotherapy or ipilimumab did not improve 6-month PFS. Although median OS was less than 12 months in both arms, the high OS rate at 2 years in Arm A suggests benefit in a small cohort of patients.
- chemo immunotherapybiliary cancer
- immune checkpoint blockade
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research