Nivolumab boosts the body’s immune system by targeting a protein on white blood cells called PD-1. PD-1 normally maintains the balance of the immune system by shutting it down at the right time. Some cancers take advantage of this shut-down mechanism by activating PD-1, enabling them to escape attack by the body’s immune system. Nivolumab binds to and inactivates PD-1, enhancing the body’s ability to detect and destroy cancer cells.
BMS986016 is also an investigational drug designed to provoke an immune response against cancer cells. While nivolumab targets PD-1, BMS-986016 targets a protein called LAG-3. In this study, researchers want to find the highest dose of BMS-986-016 that can be given alone and in combination with nivolumab in patients with solid tumors that have spread despite prior therapy.
Nivolumab is approved for treating advanced melanoma; its use for treating other cancers is considered investigational. Both nivolumab and BMS-986016 are given intravenously (by vein).