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BMS follow-up data sees long-term survival for melanoma patients

Published on 24/05/21 at 09:02am

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has announced follow-up data from their Phase III CheckMate-067 clinical trial, which demonstrated that 49% of patients with advanced melanoma were still alive six and a half years after first-line treatment with opdivo (nivolumab) plus yervoy (ipilimumab).

These results are the longest median overall survival (OS) reported in a Phase III randomised controlled trial in advanced melanoma to date.

With a minimum follow-up of six-and-a-half years, OS rates were 49% for the nivolumab plus ipilimumab combination, 42% for nivolumab alone, and 23% for ipilimumab alone. Of the 49% of patients still alive after 6.5 years, 77% required no further treatment after receiving nivolumab plus ipilimumab, compared to 69% and 43% who received nivolumab alone and ipilimumab alone respectively.

Professor James Larkin, CheckMate -067 lead investigator and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These latest results from this trial are very encouraging for patients with advanced melanoma, which was previously considered untreatable once it had spread.

“Nearly half of patients treated with this drug combination were alive at six-and-a-half years, and of these over three quarters were living treatment-free. Immunotherapies are changing our survival expectations for difficult to treat cancers.”

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases, and the majority of deaths caused by skin cancer. Two and half times more people are dying from melanoma compared to the 1970s, with around 2,300 deaths every year – more than six per day.

The combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab has been available through the NHS as a first-line option for these patients since 2016.

Hubert Bland, Executive Medical Director of Bristol Myers Squibb UK and Ireland, said: “With this six-and-a-half-year follow-up, Bristol Myers Squibb remains committed to improving survival expectations for people living with cancer.

“Today’s results confirm the progress made in our efforts for long-term survival benefits for patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma.”

 Kat Jenkins

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