Another Sea Change in Melanoma: Immune Combo Triumphs

Another Sea Change in Melanoma: Immune Combo Triumphs

Nick Mulcahy  May 31, 2015 ( from Medscape Oncology)

 The promise of a technology( monoclonal antibodies) that got the Nobel prize in the mid 1970’s continues forward. Although more toxic, the combination is better than the prior gold standard and complete remissions-cures can be seen. The antibody added to the old one has also just been approved in the most common form of advanced lung cancer- the key take home is translational research showing us Achilles heels of cancer cells, and in more than one cancer these heels may be shared and also present . This is science fiction of the 70’s lab bench becoming 2015 bedside realities for previously largely uniformly lethal diseases

 “CHICAGO — Two cancer immunotherapies are significantly better than one in slowing the progression of advanced melanoma, new phase 3 study results indicate.

The results likely represent yet another sea change in the treatment of this disease because, to date, single-agent immunotherapy with ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb) has been the gold standard in the first-line treatment of non-BRAF-mutated disease.

This study shows that first-line nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb), either in combination with ipilimumab or used alone, produced a longer progression-free survival than ipilimumab alone.

Patients were free of disease for twice as long with nivolumab alone as with ipilimumab alone, and nearly four times as long as with the combination.

But the two drugs together are much more toxic than either single agent, and the combination would be very expensive, cautioned study observers. Together, ipilumumab and nivolumab cost nearly $300,000….remaining article with much statistical data and such


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