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Dr. Tarhini on Recent Practice-Changing Clinical Trials in Melanoma

Ahmad Tarhini, MD, PhD, director, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, Center for Immuno-Oncology Research, Cleveland Clinic, discusses some recent practice-changing clinical trials in melanoma.

Ahmad Tarhini, MD, PhD, director, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, Center for Immuno-Oncology Research, Cleveland Clinic, discusses recent practice-changing clinical trials in melanoma.

Over the past year or so, there have been 3 positive studies testing adjuvant therapy in melanoma, 2 of which were presented at the 2017 ESMO Congress. CheckMate-238 tested the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo) as adjuvant immunotherapy versus the standard ipilimumab (Yervoy) in patients with high-risk disease. Data showed that nivolumab significantly reduced risk of relapse for that patient population. An FDA approval for nivolumab in this setting soon followed these results.

The next study tested the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) in patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma. Tarhini says there were unprecedented data from this study in terms of reducing risk of relapse. Most recently, data were presented from the KEYNOTE-054 study, which tested adjuvant pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in patients with high-risk surgically resected melanoma.

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