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skin cancer

Adjuvant Nivolumab vs Ipilimumab in Resected Stage III or IV Melanoma

The phase III Checkmate 238 trial has shown improved recurrence-free survival with adjuvant nivolumab (Opdivo) vs ipilimumab (Yervoy) in patients with resected advanced melanoma. The findings were reported by Weber and colleagues in The New England Journal of Medicine. Study Details In the...

skin cancer

Overall Survival With Nivolumab/Ipilimumab, or Nivolumab Alone, vs Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma

Overall survival outcomes in the phase III CheckMate 067 trial indicate improved survival with nivolumab (Opdivo)/ipilimumab (Yervoy) vs ipilimumab and with nivolumab vs ipilimumab in patients with previously untreated advanced melanoma. These findings were reported in The New England Journal of...

skin cancer

ESMO 2017: Combination Targeted Adjuvant Therapy Doubles Relapse-Free Survival in Stage III Melanoma

Combination targeted adjuvant therapy with dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) doubles relapse-free survival in patients with stage III BRAF-mutant melanoma, according to late-breaking results from the COMBI-AD trial presented on September 11 at the European Society for Medical Oncology ...

skin cancer

ESMO 2017: Adjuvant Nivolumab Superior to Ipilimumab in Surgically Resected Stage III/IV Melanoma

Adjuvant nivolumab (Opdivo) is superior to standard-of-care ipilimumab (Yervoy) in patients with surgically resected stage III/IV melanoma who are at high risk of relapse, according to late-breaking results from the CheckMate 238 trial presented on September 11 at the European Society for Medical...

skin cancer

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, on Melanoma: Results of the CheckMate 238 Trial

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, discusses study results on adjuvant therapy with nivolumab vs ipilimumab after complete resection of stage III/IV melanoma (Abstract LBA8).

skin cancer

Karl D. Lewis, MD, on Melanoma: Results From the BRIM8 Trial

Karl D. Lewis, MD, of the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion, discusses study findings on adjuvant vemurafenib in patients with completely resected BRAF V600–positive melanoma at high risk for recurrence (Abstract LBA7).

skin cancer

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, on Melanoma: Treatment With Nivolumab and Ipilimumab

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, of Gustave Roussy, characterizes complete responses in patients with advanced melanoma who received the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab, or nivolumab or ipilimumab alone (Abstract 1213O).

skin cancer

Immune-Related Toxicity and Time to Treatment Failure With Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma

As reported in JAMA Oncology by Shoushtari et al, a single-center experience has shown a very high rate of clinically significant immune-related adverse events with nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) for advanced melanoma. Their findings suggest that the full course of four doses of...

skin cancer

Artificial Intelligence May Help With Earlier Detection of Skin Cancer

New technology being developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo and the Sunnybrook Research Institute is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help detect melanoma at earlier stages. The technology employs machine-learning software to analyze images of skin lesions and provide...

skin cancer

Pembrolizumab vs Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma: Final Overall Survival Analysis of KEYNOTE-006

The final overall survival analysis of the phase III KEYNOTE-006 trial showed maintained superiority of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) vs ipilimumab (Yervoy) in advanced melanoma. The results were reported by Schachter et al in The Lancet. An interim analysis showed improved progression-free and overall...

skin cancer

Standard-Dose Pembrolizumab Plus Reduced-Dose Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma

In the phase IB KEYNOTE-029 study, standard-dose pembrolizumab (Keytruda) plus reduced-dose ipilimumab (Yervoy) produced high response rates in patients with advanced melanoma. These results were reported by Long et al in The Lancet Oncology. Study Details In the study, 153 patients with...

skin cancer

FDA Expands Approval of Ipilimumab to Include Pediatric Patients 12 Years and Older With Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the indication for ipilimumab (Yervoy) injection for intravenous use to now include the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma in pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. Ipilimumab was evaluated in 2 trials of pediatric...

skin cancer

Nivolumab Treatment Beyond Disease Progression in Advanced Melanoma

In a retrospective analysis reported in JAMA Oncology, Long et al found that a substantial proportion of patients with advanced melanoma derived benefit from continued nivolumab (Opdivo) treatment after Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1–defined disease...

skin cancer

Overall Survival With Nivolumab vs Chemotherapy in Ipilimumab-Refractory Advanced Melanoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Larkin et al, the phase III CheckMate 037 trial has shown no difference in overall survival with nivolumab (Opdivo) vs investigator’s choice of chemotherapy in ipilimumab (Yervoy)-refractory advanced melanoma. More chemotherapy patients never ...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Delaying Lymph Node Biopsy After Melanoma Diagnosis May Not Adversely Affect Survival Rates

Postponing lymph node biopsy more than 30 days after melanoma diagnosis does not adversely impact long-term clinical outcomes, according to findings published by Nelson et al in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Today, management of high-risk melanomas starts with surgical removal...

skin cancer

Dabrafenib Plus Trametinib in BRAF V600–Mutant Melanoma Brain Metastases

A phase II trial has shown that the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and the MEK inhibitor trametinib (Mekinst) produces responses in brain metastases in patients with BRAF V600–mutant melanoma. These findings were reported by Davies et al in The Lancet Oncology. Study ...

skin cancer

Melanoma-Specific Survival With Completion Dissection vs Observation for Sentinel Node Metastasis

The phase III MSLT-II trial showed that completion dissection was not associated with improved melanoma-specific overall survival vs observation in patients with sentinel node metastasis, although a benefit was observed in regional disease control. The findings were reported in The New England...

skin cancer

ASCO 2017: Higher Gut Bacteria Diversity Tied to Slower Metastatic Melanoma Progression

The blend of bacteria in the digestive tract of metastatic melanoma patients is associated with disease progression or delay in patients treated with immunotherapy, reported Wargo et al at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 3008). Their study of fecal samples from 105 patients treated with...

skin cancer

Novel Imaging Method for Predicting Immunotherapy Response

Although cancer immunotherapy can produce dramatic responses, only a minority of patients benefit from such therapy. Being able to differentiate treated responders from nonresponders early in the course of therapy would help to triage nonresponding patients away from ineffective therapies, reducing ...

skin cancer

Conditional Survival After Initial Diagnosis and Treatment of Stage III Melanoma

In an Australian study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Haydu et al found that conditional melanoma-specific survival was worse within the first 2 years of diagnosis of stage III disease for men, increasing age, and increasing American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage. The...

skin cancer

Ratio of T-Cell Invigoration to Tumor Burden Associated With Immunotherapeutic Response

Matching the size of a tumor to the body’s immune response could help physicians tailor immunotherapy treatments for patients with metastatic melanoma. Researchers found that patients who didn’t respond to treatment had an imbalance between the size of their tumor and how exhausted...

skin cancer

AACR 2017: Ipilimumab/CVA21 Combination Treatment Shows Promise in Advanced Melanoma

Treatment with a combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy) and coxsackievirus A21 (CVA21; Cavatak) led to durable responses in a number of patients with advanced melanoma, including some whose melanoma had progressed despite prior treatment with an immune checkpoint inhibitor, and fewer-than-anticipated...

skin cancer

AACR 2017: Adding the IDO-Pathway Inhibitor Indoximod to Pembrolizumab Improved Response Rate in Melanoma

Adding the investigational immunotherapy indoximod to the immunotherapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) increased the proportion of patients with advanced melanoma who responded to treatment compared with previously reported response rates for pembrolizumab monotherapy, according to interim results from a ...

skin cancer

AACR 2017: Combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Improved Overall Survival in Advanced Melanoma

Among patients with advanced melanoma, those who received both nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) had improved overall survival compared with those who received only ipilimumab, and appeared to have more favorable survival outcomes compared with those who received nivolumab, according to...

skin cancer

Survival in Advanced Melanoma With Ipilimumab at 10 mg/kg vs 3 mg/kg

In a phase III trial reported by Ascierto et al in The Lancet Oncology, treatment with ipilimumab (Yervoy) at 10 mg/kg vs 3 mg/kg resulted in improved overall survival in patients with advanced unresectable or metastatic melanoma. As noted by the investigators, although options for first-line...

skin cancer

FDA Approves Avelumab for Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today granted accelerated approval to avelumab (Bavencio) for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, including those who have not received prior chemotherapy. Avelumab is a programmed cell...

skin cancer

Belgian Study Combines BRAF and MEK Inhibition in Advanced BRAF 600–Mutant Melanoma

In a Belgian two-center phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Schreuer et al found that rechallenge with the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and the MEK inhibitor trametinib (Mekinist) showed activity in patients with BRAF V600–mutant melanoma whose disease had progressed on...

skin cancer

Binimetinib vs Dacarbazine: Which Was More Effective in NRAS-Mutant Melanoma?

In the phase III NEMO trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Dummer et al found that treatment with the MEK inhibitor binimetinib improved progression-free survival vs dacarbazine in patients with advanced NRAS-mutant melanoma. Study Details In the open-label trial, 402 patients from 118 sites in ...

skin cancer

Marie-Andrée Forget, PhD, on Metastatic Melanoma: Update From MD Anderson

Marie-Andrée Forget, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses study findings on the impact of checkpoint blockade prior to adoptive cell therapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes for metastatic melanoma. (Abstract 138)

skin cancer

Howard Kaufman, MD, on Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Treatment Update

Howard Kaufman, MD, of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, discusses a subgroup analysis of efficacy results on avelumab in chemotherapy-refractory metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma. (Abstract 80)

skin cancer

Are Most Patients With Metastatic Melanoma Eligible for Immunotherapy Clinical Trials?

A Danish study reported in the European Journal of Cancer by Donia et al indicates that more than half of patients with metastatic melanoma do not satisfy requirements for enrollment in phase III trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Study Details The study involved 276 unselected cases...

skin cancer

ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium: Response to Cancer Immunotherapy May Depend on Gut Bacteria

Researchers have found a link between microbes in the gut (the microbiome) and response to immunotherapy. In the study, the ability of patients with advanced melanoma to respond to programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitors depended on the presence of a diverse microbiome...

skin cancer

Health-Related Quality of Life in Pivotal Trial of Adjuvant Ipilimumab in Stage III Melanoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Coens et al, there was little difference between adjuvant ipilimumab (Yervoy) vs placebo in health-related quality of life in patients with high-risk stage III melanoma in the phase III EORTC 18071 trial supporting the 2014 approval of ipilimumab in this...

skin cancer

Disease Symptoms Are the Most Frequent Indicators of Recurrence in Patients With Stage II Melanoma

Recurrences of early-stage (stage II) melanoma are more often detected by patients and their physicians than by routine imaging tests, according to study results published by Berger et al in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. “We are most concerned about patients who have stage ...

skin cancer

Intermittent Vismodegib Regimens in Patients With Multiple Basal Cell Carcinomas

In a phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Dréno et al found that two long-term intermittent vismodegib (Erivedge) dosing regimens provided a similar reduction in the number of clinically significant basal cell carcinomas among patients with multiple lesions. Study Details In the ...

skin cancer

ECCO 2017: Pembrolizumab Shows Activity in Mucosal Melanoma in Multiple KEYNOTE Studies

Three clinical trials of the immunotherapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) have shown that it is active against a rare subtype of skin cancer, mucosal melanoma. The findings were presented by Butler et al at the 2017 European Cancer Congress (ECCO) (Abstract 1142). Until now, mucosal melanoma has often...

skin cancer

ECCO 2017: Melanoma Death Rates Will Fall by 2050, but Number of Deaths Will Increase

By 2050, the death rates from malignant melanoma will have decreased from their current levels, but the numbers of people dying from the disease will have increased due to the aging of populations. However, if new treatments for the deadly skin cancer prove to be effective, the numbers of deaths...

skin cancer

Results of International Cross-Sectional Survey Reveal Gaps in Primary and Secondary Skin Cancer Prevention, Perceptions, and Knowledge

A large international survey on sun exposure behaviors and skin cancer detection found there are many imperfections and geographic disparities in primary and secondary prevention of skin cancer. This information could help inform future awareness campaigns developed to address the global need to...

skin cancer

Alcohol Intake Associated With Modest Increase in Risk of Melanoma

Although alcohol consumption is associated with increasing the risk of many cancers, including liver, pancreatic, colon, rectal, and breast, the link between alcohol and higher risk of melanoma is equivocal. Now, a large prospective study by Rivera et al investigating the link between alcohol...

skin cancer

Safety Profile of Nivolumab Monotherapy in Advanced Melanoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Weber et al performed a pooled analysis of the safety profile of nivolumab (Opdivo) monotherapy in advanced melanoma, including a focus on potential immune-related (select) adverse events. The analysis pooled safety data from 576 patients receiving...

skin cancer

Factors Predictive of Outcomes With Dabrafenib/Trametinib in Metastatic BRAF-Mutant Melanoma

Long et al identified factors predictive of progression-free and overall survival with combined dabrafenib (Tafinlar) plus trametinib (Mekinist) in patients with BRAF V600E–mutant or BRAF V600K–mutant metastatic melanoma, according to a pooled individual data analysis reported in The...

skin cancer

Pooled Analysis of Outcome With Nivolumab Alone or With Ipilimumab in Advanced Mucosal or Cutaneous Melanoma

A pooled analysis of outcomes in patients receiving nivolumab (Opdivo) or nivolumab plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) for advanced mucosal or cutaneous melanoma in clinical trials was reported by D’Angelo et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The pooled analysis involved 889 patients who...

skin cancer

Christian U. Blank, MD, PhD, on Melanoma: Initial Data From the OpACIN Trial (German Language Version)

Christian U. Blank, MD, PhD, of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, discusses in German study findings on neoadjuvant ipilimumab plus nivolumab in patients with palpable stage III melanoma. (Abstract LBA39)

skin cancer

Fulminant, Fatal Myocarditis Reported in Two Patients After Starting Combined Immune Checkpoint Blockade Treatment

In an article in The New England Journal of Medicine, Johnson et al reported the occurrence of fulminant, fatal immune-related myocarditis in two patients who received combined ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) for metastatic melanoma. Patient Courses One patient was a 65-year-old woman...

solid tumors
hematologic malignancies
skin cancer

SITC 2016: Phase I/II Data Combining Urelumab With Nivolumab Suggest Increased Antitumor Effect in Patients With Melanoma

Safety and efficacy data from a phase I/II study of urelumab in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo) in patients with hematologic and solid tumors, including biomarker analyses by level of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, was recently presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer ...

skin cancer

Gut Microbes Linked to Immunotherapy Response in Patients With Melanoma

Patients with malignant melanoma are more likely to respond to immunotherapy treatment if they have greater diversity in their gut bacteria, according to new research presented by Wargo et al at the National Cancer Research Institute's (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool, United Kingdom....

skin cancer

Psychoeducational Intervention Reduces Fear of Melanoma Recurrence in Patients With High-Risk Melanoma

In an Australian trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dieng et al found that use of a psychoeducational intervention reduced the fear of cancer recurrence and stress among patients at high risk of developing a second primary melanoma. Study Details In the trial, 164 patients from 3 ...

skin cancer

Association of PD-L1 Expression and Response to Pembrolizumab in Advanced Melanoma

In an analysis from the phase IB KEYNOTE-001 trial, Daud et al found that the level of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression was associated with outcomes of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) treatment in patients with advanced melanoma. These findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical...

skin cancer

ESMO 2016: Pooled Analysis Shows PD-L1 Expression as a Biomarker for Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab Response in Advanced Melanoma

A pooled analysis from three clinical trials in advanced melanoma shows that although patients treated with nivolumab and nivolumab plus ipilimumab with ≥ 5% programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) tumor expression have similar progression-free survival, durable response rates were higher for the...

skin cancer

Investigational Immunotherapy Appears Safe and Somewhat Active in Advanced Melanoma

The investigational immunotherapeutic IMC-20D7S was found to be well tolerated and somewhat active in patients with advanced melanoma, including one complete response, according to the results of a phase I/Ib trial reported by Khalil et al in Clinical Cancer Research.  IMD-20D7S is a...

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