Dr. Sznol on Combining Nivolumab and Ipilimumab for the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma
Mario Sznol, MD, professor, Internal Medicine, Yale Cancer Center, discusses a phase I trial that examined the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab for the treatment of advanced melanoma. The data presented at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting was an updated survival and clinical activity analysis in initially enrolled cohorts and activity by BRAF mutation status.
In this trial, ipilimumab was held at a fixed dose of 3 mg/kg while nivolumab was escalated from 0.3 mg/kg to 3 mg/kg. The drugs were given together every 3 weeks for a total of 4 doses.
Initial results, presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, demonstrated an objective response rate of 40% and an 80% survival rate at 1 year. With another year of follow-up, researchers showed a 1-year survival of 85%, 2-year survival rate of 79%, and median survival of 40 months in the first 53 patients. In a phase I/Ib trial in melanoma, these results are “essentially unprecedented,” Sznol says.
Ten years ago, median survival for patients with melanoma was 6-12 months. Even in this age of targeted therapies, Sznol says, median survival is just 20-24 months.