New Lung Cancer Rx on the Table

Opdivo approved to treat lung cancer by US Food and Drug Administration

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved a new medication to treat lung cancer.

That medication is nivolumab (brand name Opdivo). The FDA approved it to treat squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after chemotherapy. It is produced by Bristol-Meyers Squibb.

Lung cancer takes the lives of more Americans than any other type of cancer, according to the FDA. And NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer.

Nivolumab is approved only for patients who have already had platinum-based chemotherapy. This type of chemo uses several medications derived from the element platinum to fight cancer.

Trials of nivolumab showed the medication to be safe and effective. Common side effects include fatigue, shortness of breath, decreased appetite, pain, cough and nausea.

Review Date: 
March 4, 2015
Last Updated:
March 5, 2015