Some patients with stage III melanoma can avoid surgery after neoadjuvant immunotherapy

Source: Healio, June 2023

CHICAGO — Tumor lymph node dissection likely can be omitted for patients with melanoma who achieve major pathologic response after neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade, according to study results presented at ASCO Annual Meeting.

Patients who achieve major pathologic response do not need adjuvant systemic therapy; however, adjuvant systemic therapy appears to extend survival for patients who do not achieve pathologic response, researchers concluded.

Prior studies showed neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade with ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol Myers Squibb), an anti-CTLA-4 antibody, and nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol Myers Squibb), an anti-PD-1 antibody, induced high rates of pathologic response among patients with high-risk stage III melanoma. Pathologic response is associated with favorable RFS rates in this population.