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Relatlimab-Nivolumab Ups PFS in Untreated Advanced Melanoma

Combination provides greater benefit than nivolumab alone for progression-free survival in untreated metastatic or unresectable melanoma

By Physician’s Briefing Staff | January 06, 2022

For patients with previously untreated metastatic or unresectable melanoma, the combination of relatlimab, a lymphocyte-activation gene 3-blocking antibody, and nivolumab, a programmed death 1-blocking antibody, provides greater benefit in terms of progression-free survival than nivolumab alone, according to a study published in the Jan. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine .

Hussein A. Tawbi, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues examined relatlimab and nivolumab as a fixed-dose combination compared with nivolumab alone administered intravenously every four weeks to patients with previously untreated metastatic or unresectable melanoma.

The researchers found that the median progression-free survival was 10.1 and 4.6 months with relatlimab-nivolumab and nivolumab, respectively (hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.75). At 12 months, progression-free survival was 47.7 and 36.0 percent with relatlimab-nivolumab and nivolumab, respectively. Across key subgroups, progression-free survival favored relatlimab-nivolumab over nivolumab. Grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 18.9 and 9.7 percent of patients in the relatlimab-nivolumab and nivolumab groups, respectively.

"These data further support the added benefit of dual checkpoint inhibition over monotherapy, add another immune checkpoint combination to the therapeutic armamentarium, and establish relatlimab-nivolumab as a potential new treatment option for patients with previously untreated metastatic or unresectable melanoma," the authors write.

The study was funded by Bristol Myers Squibb, the manufacturer of relatlimab.

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