Pembrolizumab Is Effective in Unresectable Melanoma, at 4-Year Follow-Up

Source: Cancer Network, June 2018

After 4 years of follow-up, pembrolizumab demonstrated durable antitumor activity and improved outcomes over ipilimumab in advanced melanoma, according to results from the KEYNOTE-006 trial. The results (abstract 9503) were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 1–5 in Chicago.

“The role of pembrolizumab in advanced melanoma is very well established. It has significantly improved the overall survival and the progression-free survival compared with ipilimumab in patients with advanced melanoma,” said Georgina V. Long, MD, PhD, of the University of Sydney in Australia.

The KEYNOTE-006 trial included 834 patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma. They were randomized to receive one of two schedules of pembrolizumab (556 patients in total), or to ipilimumab (278 patients). The median age was 62 years in both groups, and approximately 35% of the patients had received one prior therapy before entering the trial. About 80% of the cohort was programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)–positive.
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