Investigators Are Assessing an Experimental Interleukin-2 Drug in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma

Source: Cancer Network, July 2019

An international, randomized, open-label phase III study comparing the efficacy and safety of nivolumab plus bempegaldesleukin—an experimental interleukin (IL)-2–based drug—vs nivolumab monotherapy in patients with previously untreated, unresectable, or metastatic melanoma is now enrolling participants. The study design (abstract TPS9601) was presented during a poster session at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held in Chicago.

“The prognosis today is much better than it was 10 or 15 years ago, but that still means that half of the patients that come with metastatic disease will end up dying of their disease. So, there’s still a huge amount of work to be done,” said Mario Sznol, MD, of Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut, an author on the poster, in an interview with Cancer Network.

Though high-dose IL-2 monotherapy is effective and can even be curative in patients with metastatic melanoma, its use has largely been replaced by newer, more effective, immunotherapy treatments due to its poor toxicity profile and need for inpatient hospital administration, explained Sznol.

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