Dr. Atkins on Adjuvant Ipilimumab in Melanoma

Michael B. Atkins, MD
Published: Thursday, Apr 07, 2016



Michael B. Atkins, MD, deputy director, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor of Oncology and Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, discusses the adjuvant use of ipilimumab (Yervoy) in patients with melanoma.

Ipilimumab, which has been approved by the FDA as an adjuvant therapy, is likely to demonstrate a benefit in both relapse-free survival and overall survival, Atkins explains. However, he is unsure how that benefit will compare with the efficacy of interferon in the adjuvant setting. The 10 mg/kg dose of ipilimumab is too high for a patient population who may potentially already be cured, he adds.

This challenge puts ipilimumab in a similar category as interferon until more data are published. Ipilimumab also does not seem to have an ideal therapeutic index as an adjuvant therapy. Additionally, an anti–PD-1 therapy could have an impact on the efficacy of subsequent stage IV therapy, he says.


Michael B. Atkins, MD, deputy director, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor of Oncology and Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, discusses the adjuvant use of ipilimumab (Yervoy) in patients with melanoma.

Ipilimumab, which has been approved by the FDA as an adjuvant therapy, is likely to demonstrate a benefit in both relapse-free survival and overall survival, Atkins explains. However, he is unsure how that benefit will compare with the efficacy of interferon in the adjuvant setting. The 10 mg/kg dose of ipilimumab is too high for a patient population who may potentially already be cured, he adds.

This challenge puts ipilimumab in a similar category as interferon until more data are published. Ipilimumab also does not seem to have an ideal therapeutic index as an adjuvant therapy. Additionally, an anti–PD-1 therapy could have an impact on the efficacy of subsequent stage IV therapy, he says.

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