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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

Study Suggests Benefit of Adjuvant Radiation Therapy but Not Chemotherapy in Some Patients With Merkel Cell Carcinoma

In an analysis of National Cancer Data Base data reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Shailender Bhatia, MD, of the University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and colleagues found that adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with a survival benefit in...

Skin Cancer

Study Looks for Optimal Dosing of Single-Agent Ipilimumab in Metastatic Melanoma

There has been debate as to the optimal dose of single-agent ipilimumab (Yervoy) in metastatic melanoma. A phase III study presented at the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress—the first to directly compare these doses—concluded that 10 mg/kg is more effective, but also more...

Skin Cancer

Small Study Tests Dual Checkpoint Blockade in High-Risk Stage III Melanoma

As neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for stage III melanoma patients with palpable disease, the combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy) plus nivolumab (Opdivo) was shown to be a promising, though also toxic, combination in a phase Ib study reported at the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) ...

Skin Cancer

Combination Strategies Harness the Power of the Oncolytic Virus Talimogene Laherparepvec

The injectable oncolytic immunotherapy talimogene laherparepvec (also known as T-VEC, Imlygic) may become a valuable component of combination immunotherapy approaches in melanoma, a strategy believed to help overcome resistance of tumors to single-agent immunotherapies. “[Talimogene laherparepvec] ...

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

Personalized Vaccines May Protect Patients With High-Risk Melanoma

The field of cancer vaccines may be reinvigorated by a new understanding, and the therapeutic leveraging, of neoantigens. Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston are exploring this novel approach as a means of protecting patients with high-risk melanoma from recurrence. Early...

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

Adjuvant Ipilimumab Improves Survival in High-Risk Melanoma

Patients with stage III melanoma who were considered to be at high risk for recurrence derived an overall survival benefit from adjuvant treatment with ipilimumab (Yervoy), although it came at the price of considerable toxicity, according to updated survival results from the phase III European...

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...

Lung Cancer
Skin Cancer
Kidney Cancer

Modification of Dosage Regimen for Nivolumab in Renal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, and NSCLC

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs. On September 13, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration...

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...

skin cancer

Adjuvant Ipilimumab Prolongs Survival in High-Risk Stage III Melanoma, Phase III Study Reports

In the phase III European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) trial 18071 reported at the recent European Society for Medical Oncology meeting and in The New England Journal of Medicine by Eggermont et al, adjuvant ipilimumab (Yervoy) was found to improve recurrence-free and...

skin cancer

Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, on Metastatic Melanoma: Ipilimumab Study Results (Italian Language Version)

Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori–Fondazione Pascale, discusses in Italian overall survival and safety results from a phase 3 trial of ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg vs 10 mg/kg in patients with metastatic melanoma. (Abstract 1106O)

skin cancer

ESMO 2016: Ipilimumab as Adjuvant Therapy Improves Overall Survival in High-Risk Stage III Melanoma

Ipilimumab (Yervoy) as adjuvant therapy significantly improves overall survival in patients with high-risk stage III melanoma, according to the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 18071 phase III trial results presented by Eggermont et al at the European Society for...

skin cancer

Alexander Eggermont, MD, PhD, on Melanoma: Results From the EORTC 18071 Trial

Alexander Eggermont, MD, PhD, of Gustave Roussy, discusses final overall survival findings on ipilimumab vs placebo after complete resection of stage III melanoma. (Abstract LBA2)

skin cancer

Christian U. Blank, MD, PhD, on Melanoma: Initial Data From the OpACIN Trial

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

skin cancer

Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, on Metastatic Melanoma: Ipilimumab Study Results

Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori–Fondazione Pascale, discusses overall survival and safety results from a phase III trial of ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg vs 10 mg/kg in patients with metastatic melanoma. (Abstract 1106O)

skin cancer

Omid Hamid, MD, on Melanoma: Results From the KEYNOTE-002 Study

Omid Hamid, MD, of The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, discusses survival data from this clinical trial on pembrolizumab vs investigator-choice chemotherapy for ipilimumab-refractory melanoma. (Abstract 1107O) Follow him on Twitter: @omidhamidmd

skin cancer

Ratio of Certain Immune Cells in the Blood to Tumor Burden Correlated With Outcome for Melanoma Patients Treated With Pembrolizumab

Although some patients with melanoma experience durable responses to treatment with the anti–PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) therapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda), the majority of patients do not experience a durable clinical benefit from anti–PD-1 monotherapy, according to a study by ...

kidney cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer

Combining AM0010 and Pembrolizumab Produced Antitumor Activity in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors

A multibasket phase Ib study evaluating the clinical activity, tolerability, and antitumor activity of the cytokine-based immunotherapy AM0010 alone or in combination with the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) has found that in monotherapy, objective responses to AM0010 were ...

Skin Cancer

Study Confirms Benefit of Cobimetinib Plus Vemurafenib in Advanced BRAF V600–Mutant Melanoma

As reported by Ascierto et al in The Lancet Oncology, longer-term follow-up in the pivotal phase III coBRIM trial confirmed the benefit of adding cobimetinib to vemurafenib (Zelboraf) in first-line treatment of BRAF V600–mutant unresectable stage IIIC or IV melanoma. Grant A. McArthur, FRACP, of...

Skin Cancer

Combining Ipilimumab With Radiotherapy in Advanced Melanoma

The immunotherapy ipilimumab (Yervoy) has revolutionized the treatment of malignant melanoma and resulted in durable responses in 20% to 25% of patients with the cancer. ­Sebastian Theurich, MD, of the Center for Integrated Oncology at the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany, and colleagues...

skin cancer

Nonwhite Organ Transplant Recipients Also at Heightened Risk for Skin Cancer

A new study from Drexel University College of Medicine suggests all organ transplant recipients, regardless of race, should receive routine, total-body screenings for skin cancer. Out of 259 nonwhite transplant recipients who were evaluated in the study, 19 skin cancer lesions were identified in...

skin cancer

‘Encouraging Survival Outcomes’ Reported With Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma

Hodi et al found “encouraging survival outcomes” with the addition of nivolumab to ipilimumab in patients with previously untreated unresectable stage III or IV melanoma, according to 2-year overall survival data in the phase II CheckMate 069 trial. These results were reported in The...

kidney cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer

FDA Modifies Dosage Regimen for Nivolumab

On September 13, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modified the dosage regimen for nivolumab (Opdivo) for the currently approved indications for renal cell carcinoma, metastatic melanoma, and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The currently approved recommended dosage...

skin cancer

Durable Responses Reported With Avelumab in Chemotherapy-Refractory Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma

In a phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Kaufman et al found that the anti–PD-L1 (programmed cell death ligand 1) monoclonal antibody avelumab produced durable responses in patients with stage IV Merkel cell carcinoma progressing after cytotoxic chemotherapy. Study Details In...

skin cancer

Study Suggests Benefit of Adjuvant Radiation Therapy but Not Chemotherapy in Some Patients With Merkel Cell Carcinoma

In an analysis of National Cancer Data Base data reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Bhatia et al found that adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with a survival benefit in patients with stage I and II but not stage III Merkel cell carcinoma, with no benefit of adjuvant...

Skin Cancer

Clinical Trials Actively Recruiting Patients With Basal Cell Carcinoma

Study Title: Long-Pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG Laser Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) Study Type: Interventional/single-group assignment Study Sponsor and Collaborators: University of California, San Diego; Massachusetts General Hospital Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of laser...

Skin Cancer

Management of Merkel Cell Carcinoma

A recent report regarding pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for advanced Merkel cell carcinoma ushered in a more optimistic era in the treatment of this rare but often lethal skin cancer.1 The ASCO Post spoke with one of the field’s leaders, Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD—the first author of the study—about the...

Skin Cancer

Immune Analysis of On-Treatment Longitudinal Biopsies Predicts Response to Melanoma Immunotherapy

Immune response measured in tumor biopsies during the course of early treatment predicts which melanoma patients will benefit from specific immune checkpoint blockade drugs, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found in a report published by Chen et al in Cancer...

kidney cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer

Incidence of PD-1 Inhibitor–Related Pneumonitis in Advanced NSCLC, Renal Cell Carcinoma, and Melanoma

In a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in JAMA Oncology, Nishino et al identified the rates of PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) inhibitor–related pneumonitis in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Rates were...

skin cancer

Melanoma MicroRNA Trafficking May Control Tumor Primary Niche Formation

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) may have unraveled the metastatic mechanism of melanoma. According to a paper published by Dror et al in Nature Cell Biology, scientists discovered that before spreading to other organs, a melanoma tumor sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of...

Skin Cancer
Lung Cancer

Pembrolizumab for Untreated/Progressive Brain Metastases in Melanoma or NSCLC

Sarah B. Goldberg, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues found that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was active in untreated or progressive brain metastases in melanoma and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a single-center phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology....

skin cancer

Immune Analysis of On-Treatment Longitudinal Biopsies Predicts Response to Melanoma Immunotherapy

Immune response measured in tumor biopsies during the course of early treatment predicts which melanoma patients will benefit from specific immune checkpoint blockade drugs, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Chen et al reported their findings in...

skin cancer

Study Confirms Benefit of Cobimetinib Plus Vemurafenib in Advanced BRAF V600–Mutant Melanoma

As reported by Ascierto et al in The Lancet Oncology, longer-term follow-up in the pivotal phase III coBRIM trial confirmed the benefit of adding cobimetinib to vemurafenib (Zelboraf) in first-line treatment of BRAF V600–mutant unresectable stage IIIC or IV melanoma. Study Details In the...

skin cancer

Study Identifies Novel Treatment Resistance Mechanism in BRAF-Mutant Melanoma

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team has identified an additional mechanism for resistance to targeted treatment for BRAF-mutant melanoma. Their findings, published by Shen et al in Nature Medicine, report that inactivating mutations in two genes responsible for regulating key...

Skin Cancer

Ipilimumab Combined With Antigen-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Metastatic Melanoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Chapuis et al, concurrent use of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) antigen-4 (CTLA-4) blockade with ipilimumab (Yervoy) and adoptively transferred antigen-specific CTLs produced enduring responses in patients with stage IV melanoma. Cassian Yee, ...

skin cancer

Potential Link Between Pembrolizumab Use and Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy Reported in Two Cases of Advanced Melanoma

In a letter to the editor in The New England Journal of Medicine, de Maleissye et al described two cases of severe demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy that occurred after pembrolizumab (Keytruda) treatment for advanced melanoma. Case 1 A 45-year-old woman receiving pembrolizumab at 2 mg/kg every ...

skin cancer

Combining Ipilimumab With Radiotherapy or Electrochemotherapy May Prolong Survival in Patients With Advanced Melanoma

The immunotherapy ipilimumab (Yervoy) has revolutionized the treatment of malignant melanoma and resulted in durable responses in 20% to 25% of patients with the cancer. A study by Theurich et al investigating the benefits of combining ipilimumab with local peripheral treatments, such as...

skin cancer

Pathway Defects in Acquired Resistance to PD-1 Inhibition in Melanoma Identified

In a study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Zaretsky et al found that defects in interferon receptor signaling and antigen-presenting pathways were associated with acquired resistance to PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) inhibition in melanoma. Resistance Mutations Identified ...

skin cancer

USPSTF Issues Final Recommendation Statement on Screening for Skin Cancer

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of visual skin examination by a clinician to screen for skin cancer in asymptomatic adults. The report was published in JAMA. This is an “I...

Skin Cancer

Studies Suggest Bright Future for Combination Immunotherapy in Advanced Melanoma, but Questions Remain

Two studies presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting focused on the use of combination immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. Updated results from the phase III CheckMate 067 trial centered on the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimu­mab (Yervoy) compared...

skin cancer

Ipilimumab Combined With Antigen-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes May Be of Benefit in Metastatic Melanoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Chapuis et al, concurrent use of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) antigen-4 (CTLA-4) blockade with ipilimumab (Yervoy) and adoptively transferred antigen-specific CTLs produced enduring responses in patients with stage IV melanoma. Study...

skin cancer

Sequential Nivolumab/Ipilimumab Appears More Active Than Reverse Sequence in Advanced Melanoma

In the phase II CheckMate 064 trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Weber et al found that sequential nivolumab (Opdivo)/ipilimumab (Yervoy) was more active than the reverse sequence (ipilimumab/nivolumab) in patients with advanced melanoma. Study Details In the open-label study, 138 patients...

lung cancer
skin cancer

Pembrolizumab Active for Untreated/Progressive Brain Metastases in Melanoma or NSCLC

Goldberg et al found that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was active in untreated or progressive brain metastases in melanoma and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a single-center phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology. Study Details The study included 36 patients at Yale...

Skin Cancer

Multi-Institutional Metastatic Melanoma Research Team Receives $900,000 L’Oréal Paris USA–MRA Team Science Award for Women in Scientific Research

An international, multi-institutional research team consisting of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO); The Wistar Institute; Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre; the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has...

Skin Cancer

Anti–PD-1 Inhibitor Gains Foothold in Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Immunotherapy marches on! One of the latest frontiers for checkpoint inhibitors is the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but aggressive type of cancer. First-line therapy with pembrolizumab (Keytruda)—an anti–PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) inhibitor—achieved an objective response...

Skin Cancer

Jeffrey Sosman, MD, Joins Northwestern’s Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

Jeffrey Sosman, MD, melanoma expert and researcher, will join the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University as Co-Leader of the Translational Research in Solid Tumors (TRIST) Program and Director of the Melanoma Program. He will also serve as Director for Faculty...

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