Combining ipilimumab with local treatments 'may improve melanoma survival rates'

28 July 2016

A new study has indicated that a combination of the immunotherapy ipilimumab and local peripheral treatments such as radiotherapy or electrochemotherapy can help to enhance melanoma survival rates.

Conducted by the University Hospital of Cologne, the research analysed data from 127 patients with malignant melanoma who were treated at four cancer centres in Germany and Switzerland. Of these, 82 received ipilimumab only, while 45 received ipilimumab and local peripheral treatment to relieve their tumour-related symptoms.

A median overall survival of 93 weeks was seen among those receiving a combination of the two treatment options, compared with 42 weeks for those receiving only ipilimumab.

Dr Sebastian Theurich, a lecturer and physician-scientist at the Centre of Integrated Oncology at the University Hospital of Cologne, said: "This suggests that this combination could be an option for all patients with malignant melanoma, and this is being tested in ongoing prospective clinical trials."

Currently, about 20 percent of patients who receive ipilimumab - also known by its brand name Yervoy - achieve durable responses, which is a major advance compared with outcomes historically achieved with more traditional therapy options.

Posted by Edward Bartel


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