Hussein Abdul-Hassan Tawbi, MD, PhD
The combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) led to durable intracranial responses in patients with metastatic melanoma and asymptomatic brain metastases, according to data from the phase II CheckMate-204 study presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting.1
Long-term follow-up of the combination showed an objective response rate (ORR) of 54% and a clinical benefit rate (CBR) of 58% at a median follow-up of 20.6 months in patients with asymptomatic brain metastases; median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) had not yet been reached in the asymptomatic cohort. In a symptomatic brain metastases cohort that was added to the study, the ORR and the CBR were each 22%, and the median PFS for intracranial lesions was 1.2 months.
“We have confirmed the durable intracranial responses observed in patients with asymptomatic brain metastases and we believe, at this point, that this supports the use of nivolumab and ipilimumab as the first-line therapy for those patients,” said Hussein Abdul-Hassan Tawbi, MD, PhD, associate professor, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in a presentation during the meeting.
Brain metastases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality from melanoma. More than half of patients with metastatic melanoma will experience ≥1 brain metastasis during the course of their disease. Historically, these patients have poor median OS.
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