Epacadostat in Combination with Keytruda® Demonstrate Durable Responses in Patients with Advanced Melanoma

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has presented new and updated data from the ongoing ECHO-202 clinical trial evaluating epacadostat, a selective IDO1 enzyme inhibitor, in combination with the anti-PD-1 targeted immunotherapy medication Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) in patients with advanced melanoma.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that often starts in the form of a mole. If detected and treatable with surgery, melanoma has a high cure rate. However, once melanoma invades deeper tissues or spreads from its site of origin, cure rates fall dramatically.

Fortunately, treatment for melanoma has been improving; recently developed effective treatments include those that stimulate the immune system and/or target individual genetic mutations specific to a patient’s cancer cells.  Keytruda is an agent that is FDA-approved, and works by stimulating the immune system to recognize cancer cells.

About Epacadostat

Epacadostat is an agent that blocks an enzyme called IDO1, which is implicated in the growth and spread of cancer cells. The immunosuppressive effects of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) enzyme activity help cancer cells evade immunosurveillance.  In single-arm studies, epacadostat combined with the PD-1 inhibitors Keytruda or Opdivo (nivolumab) improved response rates compared with studies of the immune checkpoint inhibitors alone.1

Key Findings from the ECHO-202 Advanced Melanoma Cohort

Overall epacadostat in combination with Keytruda was well-tolerated in advanced melanoma patients. The average time to cancer progression was 12.4 months, and 70 percent, 54 percent, and 50 percent of individuals survived without evidence of cancer progression at 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months respectively.  In patients who had never received treatment for advanced melanoma 52 percent survived without melanoma progression at 18 months from treatment and the average duration of survival had not been reached.

About ECHO

The ECHO clinical trial program was established to investigate the effectiveness and safety of epacadostat as a core component of combination therapy in oncology. Ongoing clinical studies are evaluating epacadostat in combination with PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors in a broad range of solid tumor types as well as hematological malignancies. For more information about the ECHO clinical trial program, visit www.ECHOClinicalTrials.com.

Reference:

  1. http://news.cancerconnect.com/epacadostat-plus-keytruda-appears-effective-melanoma/
  2. http://esmo.org/Conferences/ESMO-2017-Congress

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