publication date: Jun. 5, 2015

Melanoma Drugs Could Be Used To Treat Lung, Liver, Head-Neck And Colorectal Cancers


Three immunotherapy drugs approved for the treatment of melanoma may be used to treat advanced lung, liver, head and neck, and colorectal cancers, according to clinical trial results presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago.

These drugs—Keytruda (pembrolizumab) by Merck, and Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) by Bristol-Myers Squibb—are called checkpoint inhibitors because they release the molecular checkpoints that keep the immune system from attacking tumors.

FDA approved Opdivo in March as second-line treatment for advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

The studies presented were:

A randomized phase III study, which established Opdivo as a possible standard second-line treatment option for non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

A phase I/II study that identified a potential new role for Opdivo in advanced liver cancer,

A small study that identified a potential role for Keytruda in patients with head and neck cancer.

A phase II study, which demonstrated that a specific genomic abnormality called mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency predicts response to Keytruda. This marker predicted responses in patients with colorectal, endometrial and several other types of cancer.

A randomized phase III trial for patients with melanoma, which found that Opdivo alone or in combination with Yervoy is significantly more effective than Yervoy alone.


Opdivo in Non-Squamous NSCLC

Continue reading 41-22 Melanoma Drugs Could Be Used To Treat Lung, Liver, Head-Neck And Colorectal Cancers

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