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Melanoma

The key arguments supporting the use of combination therapy with checkpoint blockade immunotherapies as the standard of care for treating metastatic melanoma arise from the combination’s high disease control rates; rapid deep responses; improved response rates; longer progression-free survival (PFS); and good estimated overall survival (OS), approaching 70% at 3 years, said Steven J. O’Day, MD, Professor of Medical Oncology, John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, CA, at the recent HemOnc Today Melanoma and Cutaneous Malignancies meeting.
“Intralesional therapy is here to stay,” said Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD, Section Chief, Hematology/­Oncology, St Luke’s University Health Network, Easton, PA, who moderated a debate on this topic at the recent HemOnc Today Melanoma and Cutaneous Malignancies meeting.
More than 33% of patients with heavily pretreated advanced melanoma are still alive at 5 years after starting nivolumab (Opdivo) monotherapy, reported F. Stephen Hodi, Jr, MD, Director of the Melanoma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting.
Zurich, Switzerland—In previously treated patients with advanced melanoma, single-agent nivolumab dem­onstrated long-term survival that compares favorably with current standard-of-care agents, according to F. Stephen Hodi, Jr, MD, Director, Melanoma Center, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Boston. The CA209-003 phase 1 clinical trial also showed that responses occurring early were durable even after the discontinuation of therapy, said Dr Hodi at the 2014 Society for Melanoma Research International Congress.
Zurich, Switzerland—For regimens joining BRAF and MEK inhibition in BRAF-mutated melanoma, recent clinical trial data showing unequivocal overall survival (OS) improvements effectively “close the book” on defining clinical benefit, according to Keith T. Flaherty, MD, Director of Developmental Therapeutics, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston. Increases in complete response (CR) rates, added Dr Flaherty at the 2014 Society for Melanoma Research International Congress, suggest that with longer-term follow-up, increases in durable responses will also be demonstrated.
Toronto, Ontario—BRAF protein expression is correlated with melanoma progression and poor patient survival, according to recent studies that were reviewed at the 2014 Canadian Dermatology Association annual conference.
Toronto, Ontario—New laser-based imaging technology differentiates malignant melanoma from other cancerous and benign skin lesions, according to a preliminary study presented at the 2014 Canadian Dermatology Association annual conference.
Toronto, Ontario—Going to more than 10 indoor tanning sessions over a person’s lifetime is associated with a 34% increased risk of developing melanoma, according to a new meta-analysis presented at the 2014 Canadian Dermatology Association annual meeting.
The development of ipilimumab (Yervoy) and its approval by the US Food and Drug Admin - istration (FDA) in March 2011 have opened a new era in the treatment and management of patients with metastatic melanoma.

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