Dr. Ribas on Combining Vemurafenib and Ipilimumab

Antoni Ribas, MD, from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses a phase I/II trial combining vemurafenib and ipilimumab for metastatic melanoma.

Antoni Ribas, MD, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology; Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), describes a phase I/II trial that plans to combine the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib (Zelboraf) and the cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) inhibitor ipilimumab (Yervoy) for patients with BRAF V600-mutated metastatic melanoma.

Indirect evidence from previous clinical trials seems to support the efficacy of this combination, Ribas explains. The rationale behind the trial is that treatment with ipilimumab will take advantage of the vulnerability created by BRAF inhibition with vemurafenib, which does not affect the immune system. Ribas believes the combination may result in either the prolongation of survival or a more durable response to therapy.

The goal of the phase I portion of the trial is to examine the safety and tolerability of the combination. The phase II portion aims for a primary endpoint of overall survival. At this point, it is still largely unknown whether there will be any interactions between the two classes of agents. For more information, visit

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