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    Currently, nivolumab and ipilimumab are the most widely used immune checkpoint inhibitors. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) of nivolumab plus ipilimumab therapy in cancer treatment. We examined data from PubMed, Web of Science, EBSCO, and Cochrane Library. Eleven articles fulfilled our criteria, which we divided into 3 groups: nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus nivolumab (the dose used for monotherapy is 3 mg/kg), nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus ipilimumab (the dose used for monotherapy is 3 mg/kg), and nivolumab 1 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg (N1I3) versus nivolumab 3 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg (N3I1). We measured the complete response (CR), partial response (PR), objective response rate (ORR), and TRAEs in any grade and grade 3 or higher. The overall effect estimate favored the combined immunotherapy group in terms of the ORR (RR: 1.40, p < 0.001) and PR (RR: 1.50, p < 0.001) than nivolumab alone. Compared with ipilimumab alone, the combined immunotherapy group had better CR (RR: 4.89, p < 0.001), PR (RR: 2.75, p < 0.001), and ORR (RR: 3.31, p < 0.001). Finally, N1I3 showed better PR (RR: 1.35, p = 0.006) and ORR (RR: 1.21, p = 0.03) than N3I1. The incidence of any TRAEs was similar between both groups (RR: 1.05, p = 0.06). However, the incidence of serious adverse events (grade 3 or higher) was lower in group N3I1 than group N1I3 (RR: 1.51, p < 0.001). This meta-analysis showed that the curative effect of nivolumab plus ipilimumab was better than that of nivolumab or ipilimumab monotherapy. In the combined immunotherapy group, N1I3 was more effective than N3I1. Although the side effects were slightly increased in N1I3 group, overall safety was acceptable.


    Jingjie Chen, Shengnan Li, Qigu Yao, Nannan Du, Xiaojun Fu, Yuanmei Lou, Mengru Wang, Feiyan Mao, Danyi Mao, Parikshit Asutosh Khadaroo, Yingying Tang. The efficacy and safety of combined immune checkpoint inhibitors (nivolumab plus ipilimumab): a systematic review and meta-analysis. World journal of surgical oncology. 2020 Jul 03;18(1):150

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    PMID: 32620130

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