Development of immunotherapy has dramatically changed poor prognosis of metastatic malignant melanoma (MM). Inhibition of immune checkpoints represents a new effective treatment. Monoclonal antibodies against CTLA-4 ipilimumab and against PD-1 (programme death 1) nivolumab and pembrolizumab prolong progression free survival and overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced metastatic MM. Both achieved significant improvement in relapse-free survival and OS also in adjuvant setting. It looks like the efficacy of the combined immunotherapy of ipilimumab with anti-PD-1 antibodies is superior to the monotherapy, but combined therapy is accompanied by higher toxicity. Management of adverse events of ipilimumab plus nivolumab combination were solved in several clinical trials. New combinations such as immunotherapy with intralesional oncolytic vaccination are explored. In this review, some results of clinical trials presented at ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) 2017 are mentioned. Interesting data were obtained from the evaluation of long-term efficacy of immunotherapy in patients who had to stop the treatment for adverse events. Other trial (CheckMate 172) evaluated the safety and efficiency of nivolumab in MM patients who failed on or after therapy with ipilimumab. Considerable attention has been paid to the efficacy of immunotherapy in the treatment of brain metastases.
Advances in Immunotherapy of Malignant Melanoma
- Authors: MUDr. Ivana Krajsová, MBA