The latest analysis of the phase 3 EORTC 1325/KEYNOTE-054 clinical trial showed pembrolizumab to be superior to placebo after more than 3.5 years of follow-up on the end points of distant metastasis-free survival and relapse-free survival in patients with resected stage III melanoma.
A real-world analysis showed that adjuvant immunotherapy in patients with stage III melanoma improved survival, but that only approximately 33% of eligible patients received such adjuvant therapy after ipilimumab (Yervoy) was approved by the FDA for this indication.
Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy in the United States. Although invasive melanoma comprises approximately 1% of skin cancers, it is the cause of a vast majority of skin cancer–related deaths. The following provides helpful information related to this malignancy.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.1 The 5-year relative survival rate for Americans with distant melanoma is only 23%. The National Cancer Institute estimated that there were 91,270 new cases of skin melanoma and more than 9300 deaths from this disease in 2018. This deadly disease is also costly; in the United States, expenditures for the treatment of melanoma exceeded $3 billion in 2018.
Moving combination immunotherapy into the neoadjuvant setting for patients with stage III melanoma induces a higher rate of pathologic response than adjuvant therapy, said Christian U. Blank, MD, PhD, Division of Molecular Oncology & Immunology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, at the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium.
At the 2018 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association Annual Conference, Jaime Anderson, PharmD, BCOP, reviewed recent efficacy and safety data on immune checkpoint inhibitor regimens in melanoma, and discussed disease-specific characteristics that may guide treatment-planning decisions.
Adding the investigational drug indoximod, an indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) pathway inhibitor, to the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab led to higher response rates in patients with advanced melanoma than what is reported with pembrolizumab monotherapy,
Washington, DC—The combination of nivolumab plus ipilimumab improved survival compared with ipilimumab alone in patients with previously untreated advanced melanoma, according to updated results of the phase 3 CheckMate-067 clinical trial presented at the 2017 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. A descriptive analysis suggested that the combination was superior to nivolumab monotherapy, although that was not a prespecified end point of the study.
The immunotherapeutic landscape is dynamic and rapidly evolving. Immunomodulating therapies have proved effective in enhancing overall patient survival and inducing highly durable tumor responses. In this exciting and rapidly progressing setting, there is significant need for biosafety procedures to prevent unacceptable exposures.
Nivolumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor proved to extend survival in patients with metastatic melanoma, non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and renal-cell carcinoma (RCC). When patients receive nivolumab combined with ipilimumab, they experience higher tumor response rates and increased progression-free survival. Patients receiving combined immunotherapeutic agents experience higher rates of immune-related adverse events compared with patients receiving monotherapy.