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Nivolumab Therapy Prolongs Survival in Advanced Melanoma

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 -- More patients with advanced melanoma receiving nivolumab plus ipilimumab or nivolumab alone have sustained long-term survival at five years compared with those receiving ipilimumab alone, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress 2019, held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 in Barcelona, Spain.

James Larkin, Ph.D., from the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London, and colleagues reported five-year outcomes for patients with previously untreated melanoma randomly assigned to receive nivolumab plus ipilimumab, nivolumab plus ipilimumab-matched placebo, or ipilimumab plus nivolumab-matched placebo.

The researchers found median overall survival was longer than 60.0 months (median not reached), 36.9 months, and 19.9 months in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group, the nivolumab group, and the ipilimumab group, respectively, at a minimum follow-up of 60 months (hazard ratio for death with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus ipilimumab, 0.52; hazard ratio for nivolumab versus ipilimumab, 0.63). At five years, overall survival was 52, 44, and 26 percent in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group, the nivolumab group, and the ipilimumab group, respectively. No sustained deterioration was noted in health-related quality of life during or after nivolumab plus ipilimumab or nivolumab alone.

"Among patients with advanced melanoma, sustained long-term overall survival at 5 years was observed in a greater percentage of patients who received nivolumab plus ipilimumab or nivolumab alone than in those who received ipilimumab alone, with no apparent loss of quality of life in the patients who received regimens containing nivolumab," the authors write.

The study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturer of nivolumab.

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Posted: September 2019

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