2016 was a year of continued advances in the management of melanoma as a result of advances in precision medicine and immunotherapy. Trial results matured defining the role of BRAF inhibitors and combination therapy as a new standard of care for advanced disease and it was demonstrated that immunotherapy can improve the outcomes for earlier stage disease.
BRAF inhibitors turn off a genetic mutation called BRAF V600 found in about half of patients with advanced melanoma, which allows melanoma cells to grow uncontrollably. The combination of Cotellic® (cobimetinib) plus Zelboraf® (vemurafenib) was shown to improve overall survival for patients with advanced, BRAF (V600) mutation-positive melanoma and the combination consisting of Taflinar (dabrafenib) plus Mekinist (trametinib) significantly improved survival compared to those treated with single agent Taflinar only.
Yervoy® (ipilimumab) is a monoclonal antibody that targets CTLA4, found on the surface of T cells. CTLA4 is thought to inhibit immune responses. By targeting this molecule, Yervoy enhances the immune system’s response against tumor cells. Yervoy was demonstrated to improve survival in stage III melanoma patients who are at high risk of recurrence following complete surgical resection.
CancerConnect News coverage of advances in the management of melanoma included the following key developments in 2016:
2016 Melanoma Research News
- 3-Year Survival Improved with Taflinar®/Mekinist® Combination in Advanced Melanoma
- Cotellic®/Zelboraf® Combo: New Standard of Care for Melanoma
- Yervoy® Improves Overall Survival in Fully Resected Stage III Melanoma Patients
- Patients With Early-Stage Melanoma And Lung Cancer Among Those Standing To Benefit From Immunotherapy
- NLN Update on the Lymphedema Treatment Act
- Epacadostat Plus Keytruda® Appears Effective in Melanoma
Other 2016 Melanoma News
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In Case You Missed What Happened Last Year: 2015 Melanoma Year in Review
2015 FDA News
- Opdivo Receives Expanded Approval as Single Agent for Initial Therapy in Melanoma
- Yervoy Gets Expanded Approval for Earlier-Stage Melanoma
- Imlygic® Approved for Melanoma
- MRA Hails FDA Approval of First Combination Immunotherapy for Melanoma
2015 Melanoma Research News
- New Combination Treatment Effective Against Melanoma Skin Metastases
- Opdivo® Alone or Combined with Yervoy® Effective in Advanced Melanoma
- Melanoma Drug T-VEC Receives Recommendation for FDA Approval
- Keytruda® May Be More Effective than Yervoy® in Advanced Melanoma
- Yervoy® Improves Treatment of Stage III Melanoma
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