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Ugurel S.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Ascierto P.A.,Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy Unit | Flaherty K.T.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Grob J.J.,Aix - Marseille University | And 10 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2016

The survival of advanced metastatic melanoma has been greatly improved within the past few years. New therapeutic strategies like kinase inhibitors for BRAF-mutant melanoma and immune checkpoint blockers proved to prolong survival times within clinical trials, and many of them have already entered routine clinical use. However, these different treatment modalities have not yet been tested against each other, which complicate therapy decisions. We performed an explorative analysis of survival data from recent clinical trials. Thirty-five Kaplan-Meier survival curves from 17 trials were digitised, re-grouped by matching inclusion criteria and treatment line, and averaged by therapy strategy. Notably, the survival curves grouped by therapy strategy revealed a very high concordance, even if different agents were used. The greatest survival improvement was observed with the combination of BRAF plus MEK inhibitors as well as with Programmed-death-1 (PD1) blockers with or without cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) blockers, respectively, with these two treatment strategies showing similar survival outcomes. For first-line therapy, averaged survival proportions of patients alive at 12 months were 74.5% with BRAF plus MEK inhibitor treatment versus 71.9% with PD-1 blockade. This explorative comparison shows the kinase inhibitors as similarly effective as immune checkpoint blockers with regard to survival. However, to confirm these first trends for implementation into an individualised treatment of melanoma patients, data from prospective clinical trials comparing the different treatment strategies head-to-head have to be awaited. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Ascierto P.A.,Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy Unit | Simeone E.,Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy Unit | Giannarelli D.,Regina Elena Cancer Institute | Grimaldi A.M.,Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy Unit | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Ipilimumab and vemurafenib have both been shown to improve survival in phase III trials of patients with metastatic melanoma. Although vemurafenib is associated with a rapid onset of activity, responses are often of limited duration. Conversely, responses to ipilimumab take time to develop, but can be durable. Currently, limited data exist on the sequencing of these agents in patients with the BRAF V600 mutation. The aim of this analysis was to identify factors that could potentially be used to optimise the order in which ipilimumab and BRAF inhibitors are administered in this patient population.Methods: This was a retrospective, single-institution, analysis of patients treated with vemurafenib 960 mg or dabrafenib 150 mg twice-daily and ipilimumab 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for 4 doses as part of a clinical trial or expanded access program. Eligible patients tested positive for the BRAF V600 mutation and had sequentially received treatment with vemurafenib or dabrafenib followed by ipilimumab, or vice versa.Results: In total, 34 BRAF-mutation positive patients were eligible, comprising six patients who received ipilimumab followed by a BRAF inhibitor, and 28 patients treated with a BRAF inhibitor who subsequently received ipilimumab. Of these 28 patients, 12 (43 %) had rapid disease progression resulting in death and were unable to complete ipilimumab treatment as per protocol. These patients were classified as having rapid disease progression. Median overall survival for rapid progressors was 5.7 months (95 % CI: 5.0-6.3), compared with 18.6 months (95 % CI: 3.2-41.3; p < 0.0001) for those patients who were able to complete ipilimumab treatment. Baseline factors associated with rapid progression were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, a performance status of 1 and the presence of brain metastases. Patients were more likely to have rapid disease progression if they had at least two of these risk factors at baseline.Conclusions: Our analysis suggests it may be possible to identify those patients at high risk of rapid disease progression upon relapse with a BRAF inhibitor who might not have time to subsequently complete ipilimumab treatment. We hypothesise that these BRAF-mutation positive patients may benefit from being treated with ipilimumab first. © 2012 Ascierto et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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