Opdivo-Yervoy Combination Approved for Melanoma-First Combination

Opdivo-Yervoy Combination Approved for Melanoma-First Combination

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Robert Andtbacka, M.D., from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and Howard L. Kaufman, M.D., from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, led the multisite study, published May 26 online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Safety and efficacy for the Opdivo-Yervoy combination were established in the Phase II, double-blind CheckMate-069 trial of 142 patients with previously untreated unresectable or metastatic melanoma who were randomized to receive Opdivo with Yervoy or Yervoy alone (OT 6/10/15 issue). invented to replicate within tumors and produce the immunostimulatory protein granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF).

Both local and systemic immune responses after treatment with T-VEC were also observed by the researchers, supporting the idea that combining T-VEC with other immunotherapies might further increase effectiveness.

Imlygic’s most common side effects include fatigue, chills, fever, nausea, flu-like symptoms and injection-site pain.

Imlygic is an oncolytic (cancer-killing) drug that uses the cold sore-causing herpes virus as its base. A diagnosis means that melanoma cells have been found in lymph nodes and that the patient will require surgery.


Amgen will begin offering Imlygic to patients in the coming weeks with an average cost of $65,000. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer which develops within skin pigment-containing cells (melanocytes.) the primary cause of the cancer is excessive exposure to sunlight (or ultraviolet light from tanning machines) for people with low levels of skin pigments. After surgery, Yervoy can be used to reduce the risk of recurring melanoma. The HCI Cancer Learning Center for patient and public education contains one of the nation’s largest collections of cancer-related publications.

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