Immune booster combined with checkpoint blocker improves survival in metastatic melanoma

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Patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with ipilimumab, an immune checkpoint blocker, survived 50 percent longer – a median 17.5 months vs. 12.7 months – if they simultaneously received an immune stimulant, according to a study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists.

Patients in the clinical trial who got the combined therapies also had fewer serious adverse side effects than those who received only ipilimumab, the researchers report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The group treated with both ipilimumab and the immune stimulant, called sargramostim, had a one-year survival rate of 68.9 percent vs. 52.9 percent in the ipilimumab-only group. In both groups, however, the median progression-free survival (the length of time before the cancer began to grow) was similar – 3.1 months.

Larger trials and longer follow-up will be needed to confirm the results, he added. “But this opens the possibility of improving clinical outcomes and decreasing serious side effects in treating advanced melanoma with ipilimumab.”

Source by : Science Daily News

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