Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Combination therapy boosts melanoma survival by 50 percent

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 4, 2014 – Patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with an unusual combination of an immunotherapy with an immune stimulant survived 50 percent longer compared to patients who received only the immunotherapy.

The study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists enrolled 245 patients with stage 3 or stage 4 metastatic melanoma who had been treated with other drugs.
Among the group treated with both ipilimumab, an immunotherapy drug, and the immune stimulant, called sargramostim, 68.9 percent survived one year compared to 52.9 percent of those treated with ipilimumab alone. 

The combination group survived five months longer at a median of 17.5 months compared to 12.7 months for those in the ipilimumab alone group. The patients were followed for a median of 13.3 months. The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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