Melanoma immunotherapy updates in 2016: clinical trials, developments and new survival data

Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD of the NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, discusses his satellite symposium talk on updates in melanoma immunotherapy at the 2016 World Congress of Cancers of the Skin (WCCS) and the Congress of the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) in Vienna, Austria. Prof. Weber highlights the most recent updates in melanoma immunotherapy from the AACR (American Association for Cancer Research) and ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) meetings, alongside some of the most recent updates from WCCS/EADO 2016 also. Prof. Weber discusses some of the developments, which include evolutionary updates to existing trials, with the fact that the mature survival data from the ipilimumab and nivolumab versus ipilimumab trial now shows two year survival of over 60%, with the appearance of a very nice plateau that is beginning above 50% (NCT01927419). The presentation will also address the longest survival data from the original Phase I nivolumab melanoma study of 107 patients (NCT00730639), where there was 35% survival rate at year two, three and four. Next, he discusses the use of pembrolizumab, the other anti-PD-1 antibody, and that where treatment induces a complete response (CR), patients stay in remission with 2-3 years of follow-up. Finally, he provides a quick insight into one interesting abstract from ASCO, concerning patients with autoimmune diseases who received checkpoint inhibition; this showed that they can tolerate it fairly well without a life-threatining or severe flare of their diseases in almost all cases.
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