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Triplet Therapy With Novel PD-1 Inhibitor Holds Promise in Melanoma

Ariela Katz
Published: Wednesday, Nov 28, 2018
The addition of a novel PD-1 inhibitor to a combination of BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and MEK inhibitor trametinib (Mekinist) is being tested to determine whether the triplet is safe and effective for patients with metastatic or unresectable melanoma. Although the combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors is already a preferred treatment option for patients with BRAF V600 mutation–positive melanoma, investigators are hopeful that adding the PD-1 inhibitor spartalizumab (PDR001) will improve responses to therapy.1

V600–mutated melanoma.

Figure. Spartalizumab in Patients With Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma


Confirmed responses were observed in all 9 patients, with 3 achieving a complete response and 6 achieving a partial response. The confirmed ORR was therefore 100%, suggesting that there is potential for improved response rates with the addition of spartalizumab.


  1. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. Melanoma, version 3.2018. National Comprehensive Cancer Network website. Published July 12, 2018. Accessed October 3, 2018.
  2. NCI [National Cancer Institute] drug dictionary: spartalizumab. NCI website. Accessed October 3, 2018.
  3. PDR001. Immuno-oncology news website. Accessed October 3, 2018.
  4. Dummer R, Arance Fernández AM, Hanson J, et al. Preliminary findings from part 1 of COMBI-i: a phase III study of anti–PD-1 antibody PDR001 combined with dabrafenib (D) and trametinib (T) in previously untreated patients (pts) with advanced BRAF V600-mutant melanoma. Presented at: 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology–Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium; January 25-27, 2018; San Francisco, CA.

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