Immune checkpoint-blocking agents show significant survival benefit

October 24, 2017


In 2011, ipilimumab was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for metastatic melanoma. Since its approval, numerous targeted therapies have been approved by the FDA.

Population-based studies assessing the survival benefit from these agents are lacking. We therefore carried out this study to compare the 1-year, 2-year, and median overall survival (OS) among metastatic melanoma patients in pretargeted and post-targeted eras. This is a retrospective study that utilized the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER-18) database, version 8.3.4 (22 March 2017). The patient groups were defined as the pretargeted era (2004-2010) and the post-targeted era (2011-2014) as ipilimumab was approved by the FDA in 2011.

The database comprised of 5471 patients (3314 in the pretargeted era and 2157 in the post-targeted era). OS in the post-targeted era was found to be significantly better compared with the pretargeted era by Kaplan-Meier curve (1-year OS: 38.9 vs. 36.8%, 2-year OS: 28.3 vs. 23.5%, and median survival: 8 vs. 7 months, P=0.001 by the log-rank test). The survival was significantly better in the post-targeted era compared with the pretargeted era on multivariate analysis using a Cox proportional hazard model after adjusting for age, sex, race, and metasectomy status (adjusted hazard ratio of 0.889, 95% CI: of 0.832-0.951, P=0.001).

There is significant survival benefit in metastatic melanoma patients since the introduction of immune checkpoint-blocking agents.


Uprety, Dipesh; Bista, Amir; Chennamadhavuni, Adithya; Niroula, Abesh; Jafri, Syed Imran Mustafa; Smith, Angela; Arjyal, Lubina. Survival trends among patients with metastatic melanoma in the pretargeted and the post-targeted era: a US population-based study.  Melanoma Research: Post Author Corrections: October 11, 2017
doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000394

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