Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, assistant in medicine, MGH Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the current treatment of patients with melanoma.
Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, assistant in medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), MGH Cancer Center, discusses the current treatment of patients with melanoma.
Physicians can now treat patients with melanoma with immunotherapies. The standard-of-care immunotherapies are the anti—PD-1 agents or combinations with PD-1 antibodies plus ipilimumab (Yervoy). Once there is a patient who has been tried on the standard-of-care immunotherapies, it is important to see if they have a mutation, says Sullivan. Then physicians should try to find a clinical trial, potentially investigating 1 drug or a combination of drugs that could work.
The combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab was initially approved in October 2015 for the treatment for patients with BRAF V600 wild-type, unresectable or metastatic melanoma, which was based on findings from the phase II CheckMate-069 study. This indication was expanded in January 2016 to include patients with BRAF V600 mutations; the decision was based on data from the phase III CheckMate-067 trial.