Source: European Medicines Agency
Opdivo is a cancer medicine used on its own or with another cancer medicine, ipilimumab, to treat adults with advanced melanoma, a type of skin cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be surgically removed.

Opdivo is also used on its own to treat adults with:

a lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread locally or to other parts of the body in patients who have previously been treated with other cancer medicines (chemotherapy)

In NSCLC that had spread locally or to other parts of the body, Opdivo improved the average time patients survived compared with docetaxel (another cancer medicine). Studies have shown benefit in two forms of NSCLC, known as non- squamous and squamous.

For non-squamous NSCLC , one main study involved 582 patients whose disease had progressed despite previous treatments. The average survival with Opdivo was 12 .2 months,compared with 9.4 months with docetaxel.

For squamous NSCLC, a study involving 272 patients showed that patients given Opdivo survived for 9.2 months, compared with 6.0 months in patients given docetaxel.

Opdivo in combination with ipilimumab is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with intermediate/poor-risk advanced renal cell carcinoma

Supportive information was also provided from another study indicating that Opdivo could produce a response in patients with squamous NSCLC whose disease had progressed despite several previous treatments.

Adverse effects
The most common side effects with Opdivo (which may affect more than 1 in 10 people) include tiredness, diarrhoea, nausea (feeling sick), rash and itching, pain in joints, muscles and bones, and hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), most of which are mild to moderate in severity. Other common side effects with Opdivo in combination with ipilimumab, which are also mostly mild or moderate, include pyrexia (fever), thyroid issues, decreased appetite, vomiting, colitis (inflammation of the gut), abdominal (belly) pain, headache and breathing difficulty.
Opdivo is also commonly associated with side effects related to the activity of the immune system on body organs. Most will go away with appropriate treatment or on stopping Opdivo.

Cancer Treatment Options 

Page updated 2024

Please share this page to help others