Bristol-Myers Squibb said its Opdivo (nivolumab) recently gained endorsement from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) as the first immuno-oncology approved regimen for treating advanced gastric cancer.
Opdivo also has been shown to be beneficial to survival rates in certain previously treated gastric cancer patients, the Bristol-Myers Squibb release said.
Gastric or stomach cancer is Japan’s second most frequent type of cancer, and its frequency is shown to be highest in Asia overall, the release said. Almost 134,000 individuals were diagnosed with the disorder in 2016. Worldwide, it is the fifth most common type of cancer.
“I have seen firsthand how patients and their families are negatively impacted by gastric cancer, which in Japan took approximately 50,000 lives last year,” Dr. Taroh Satoh of Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine’s Frontier Science for Cancer and Chemotherapy in Suita, Japan, said in the release. “It is encouraging that Japanese patients with advanced or recurrent gastric cancer now have an immuno-oncology treatment option with the approval of Opdivo, which has shown in clinical trials to improve survival across all patient types.”
A spokesperson for Bristol-Myers Squibb reiterated the company’s desire to create advances in recovery options.
“The approval of Opdivo for advanced or recurrent gastric cancer in Japan offers health care providers and patients a much-needed new treatment option, and reinforces our commitment to advance the treatment of cancer through immuno-oncology based approaches,” Murdo Gordon, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in the release.