Melanoma Coverage from Every Angle

SMR 2019: Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab and Nivolumab Alone in Advanced Melanoma

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019

First-line treatment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and nivolumab alone continues to demonstrate a durable and sustained survival benefit across clinically relevant subgroups of patients with advanced melanoma at 5 years compared with ipilimumab alone, according to the latest results of the phase III CheckMate 067 trial. Georgina V. Long, MD, PhD, of the Melanoma Institute Australia and the University of Sydney, and colleagues also identified patient characteristics that were associated with survival at 5 years of follow-up. These new findings were presented at the 2019 International Congress of The Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) in Salt Lake City.

Patients with previously untreated, unresectable stage III or IV melanoma received treatment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab (n = 314), nivolumab plus placebo (n = 316), or ipilimumab plus placebo (n = 315) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Dr. Long and colleagues found that patients who were alive at 5 years were more likely to have achieved a complete response, have a normal level of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) at baseline, and have few metastatic sites.

For example, after at least 5 years of follow-up, the progression-free survival for combination therapy, nivolumab alone, and ipilimumab alone in patients who achieved a complete response was 80%, 79%, and 76%, respectively; the 5-year overall survival rate was 90%, 93%, and 83%. For patients with stable disease, these rates were 3%, 10%, and 0%, respectively, and 24%, 40%, and 33%. The overall survival rates at 5 years in patients with baseline LDH levels up to two times the upper limit of normal were 55%, 48%, and 29%, respectively; the rates in patients with LDH levels more than two times the upper limit of normal were 28%, 14%, and 7%.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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