Death Rates in Melanoma Fell Markedly Following the Proliferation of New Types of Therapies

Source: Oncology Nurse Advisor, September 2019

Death rates from melanoma started falling immediately after the introduction of immunotherapies, and they fell fast, a recent study suggested.

The study, published in Cancer, compared cancer deaths in those diagnosed within 1 of 3 time periods: 2007 to 2008, 2009 to 2010, and 2011 to 2012.1The immunotherapy ipilimumab wasn’t approved by the US Food and Drug Administration until 2011,2but by the end of the following year, the first hints of success were visible in the time-series comparison.

From 2007 to 2012, 2-year survival increased 3.4 percentage points for patients with advanced melanoma, which was based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) 18 database. This repository, which includes data from regional cancer registries, represents approximately 28% of the US population. When only adults younger than 65 years were included, the 2-year survival rate for advanced melanoma increased by nearly 7 percentage points.

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