Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a type of cancer that affects the squamous cells of the esophagus. The prognosis of patients with ESCC is poor with first-line therapy options. This study aims to examine the efficacy and safety of camrelizumab and chemotherapy as second-line therapy in patients with advanced or metastatic ESCC.

This was an open-label, randomized, phase-3 study that included a total of 457 patients aged 18-75 years with a histological or cytological diagnosis of advanced or metastatic ESCC. The patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive camrelizumab (n=228) or chemotherapy with docetaxel or irinotecan (n=220). The primary outcome of the study was overall survival, along with the safety of the treatment.

During a median follow-up of 8.3 months in the camrelizumab group and 6.2 months in the chemotherapy group, the median overall survival was 8.3 months and 6.2 months in the two groups, respectively. Commonly occurring treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or worse were anemia, abnormal hepatic function, and diarrhea.

The research concluded that second-line therapy with camrelizumab was associated with a significantly improved overall survival in patients with advanced or metastatic ESCC when compared with standard chemotherapy.