Melanoma Coverage from Every Angle

SMR 2019: T-VEC Plus Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Friday, January 3, 2020

The 3-year landmark analysis of a randomized, phase II trial indicated that the combination of talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) and ipilimumab continues to provide benefit compared with ipilimumab alone in patients with advanced melanoma. Jason Chesney, MD, PhD, of the University of Louisville and James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Louisville, Kentucky, and colleagues presented their findings at the 2019 International Congress of The Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) in Salt Lake City.

Reportedly the first randomized trial to test the addition of an oncolytic virus to an immune checkpoint inhibitor in advanced melanoma, this study enrolled 198 patients with unresectable stage IIIB to IV melanoma to either a combination of T-VEC and ipilimumab (n = 98) or ipilimumab alone (n = 100). After a median follow-up of 40 months in the combination arm and 34.3 months in the ipilimumab arm, the objective response rates were 36.7% and 16%, respectively (P = .002). Although the median progression-free survival was higher in the combination arm, it was not statistically significant (13.5 vs. 4.5 months, P = .159). The median overall survival has not been reached in either arm.

Dr. Chesney and colleagues noted that 45.9% of patients in the combination arm and 64% of those in the ipilimumab arm received subsequent anticancer therapy. They concluded that “survival is likely confounded by subsequent therapies.”

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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