Melanoma survival up to 10 years for some taking ipilimumab

October 8, 2013

Long-term analysis of patients with advanced melanoma taking ipilimumab demonstrated survival rates of up to 10 years, according to recent research.

 

Long-term analysis of patients with advanced melanoma taking ipilimumab demonstrated survival rates of up to 10 years, according to recent research.

A presentation at the 2013 European Cancer Congress suggested a plateau in overall survival starting around the third year and extending through year 10 in patients taking ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb) for the treatment of melanoma.

Stephen Hodi, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues from around the world studied data from 1,861 patients in 12 prospective and retrospective studies of ipilimumab’s impact on long-term survival. They also analyzed data from an additional 2,985 patients who had been treated with ipilimumab but were not participants in clinical trials, according to the news release.

Median overall survival for the patients in trials was 11.4 months. Twenty-two percent of these patients were alive after three years, and there were no deaths among patients who survived beyond seven years. Longest overall survival in the database was 9.9 years, according to Dr. Hodi. When factoring in data from patients not in clinical trials, median overall survival was 9.5 months, with a plateau in overall survival at three years for 21 percent of patients.

“This slightly lower survival rate was because there were limited and incomplete data on overall survival,” Dr. Hodi says in the news release, “and patients given ipilimumab through the extended access program tended to be more ill and with more advanced disease.”

Dr. Hodi notes a limitation in the study is that it did not come from a single, randomized, controlled study but rather from a pooled analysis of phase 2, 3 and observational data.