The combination of adjuvant nivolumab and ipilimumab led to a 3-year relapse-free survival rate of 71% in patients with high-risk resected stage IIIC/IV melanoma.
The combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab showed an intracranial response rate of 46% for asymptomatic patients with melanoma brain metastases who had not received prior local therapy to the brain.
The combination of anti–PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy with BRAF plus MEK inhibitors is advancing rapidly following early promising phase results for patients with BRAF-mutant advanced melanoma.
Immunotherapy has led a transformation for melanoma care but combinations of anti–PD-1 and CTLA-4 agents are toxic and biomarkers are not available to help personalized treatment, calling for further research into less toxic and more effective options.
Treatment with genetically engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocytes showed some signs of activity and very little added toxicity for patients with metastatic melanoma.
While chemotherapy has historically been used to treat patients with Merkel cell carcinoma, immunotherapy advances have infused new hope into the treatment landscape.
The FDA has granted a priority review to a supplemental biologics license application for nivolumab (Opdivo) to treat patients with melanoma who are at high risk of disease recurrence following complete surgical resection.
Half of patients with melanoma who progressed on anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy benefited from the combination of nivolumab and the LAG-3 inhibitor relatlimab.
The European Commission has approved avelumab (Bavencio) for the treatment of patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.
Nivolumab (Opdivo) may represent a new standard option for adjuvant therapy for patients with resected stage IIIB/C and IV melanoma, whether or not they have a BRAF mutation. In a comparison with current standard high-dose ipilimumab (Yervoy), nivolumab demonstrated a significant improvement in relapse-free survival.