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Cancer

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab increases progression-free survival for melanoma patients

Nivolumab alone or combined with ipilimumab results in longer progression-free survival than ipilimumab alone in patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma. In the image, magnification of metastatic melanoma

Source: Julio C. Valencia / National Cancer Institute / Wikimedia Commons

A study indicates that nivolumab plus ipilimumab show complementary activity in metastatic melanoma

A new generation of immune checkpoint inhibitors is showing impressive results across a range of cancers but the comparative efficacy of different agents alone and in combination is still being explored.

New research shows that nivolumab alone or combined with ipilimumab results in longer progression-free survival than ipilimumab alone in patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma.

For 945 patients taking part in the phase III study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine[1] on 31 May 2015, the median progression-free survival was 11.5 months in patients given the combination therapy (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.9–16.7) compared with 6.9 months in those given nivolumab alone (95% CI, 4.3–9.5) and 2.9 months for those given only ipilimumab (95% CI, 2.8–3.4).

The researchers also report that the management of adverse events with the combination therapy suggests that it can be used safely.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068703

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