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ESMO 2019: Update From CheckMate 238 of Nivolumab Versus Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, October 14, 2019

Nivolumab treatment led to improved survival outcomes when compared with ipilimumab treatment in patients with resected stage III or stage IV melanoma, according to an update on efficacy and biomarker data from the CheckMate 238 trial. These findings were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019 in Barcelona (Abstract 1310O).

“With 36 months of follow-up, nivolumab continued to demonstrate superior efficacy over ipilimumab in patients with stage III/IV melanoma at high risk of recurrence across patient subgroups,” concluded Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, of the New York University Langone Medical Center, and colleagues.

The study included 906 patients with completely resected stage IIIB/C or stage IV melanoma. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 3 mg/kg of nivolumab every 2 weeks (n = 453) or 10 mg/kg of ipilimumab every 4 weeks for the first 4 doses followed by once every 12 weeks (n = 453). Treatment continued for 1 year or until disease recurrence or serious toxicity was encountered.

At a median follow-up of 36 months, the nivolumab group had a longer recurrence-free survival than patients receiving ipilimumab. The 3-year recurrence-free survival rates were 58% for patients receiving nivolumab (188/453) and 45% (239/453) for those on ipilimumab. Nivolumab treatment also resulted in superior distant metastasis–free survival in both patients with stage IIIB and stage IIIC disease. For both recurrence-free and distant metastasis–free survival, nivolumab continued to result in improved outcomes, including for patients with PD-L1 expression of at least 5% as well as greater than 5% and in patients with a BRAF mutation and wild-type BRAF.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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