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Analyzing the Role of Checkpoint Inhibitors for the Treatment of Melanoma

Ryan J. Sullivan, MD
Published Online:9:09 PM, Mon May 6, 2019

Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, assistant professor of hematology/oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the role of checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment landscape for patients with melanoma.

Over the last decade, patients with both adjuvant and metastatic melanoma have had limited options until the last decade when immune checkpoint inhibitors were introduced to this space, says Sullivan. These advances include the approval of ipilimumab (Yervoy), nivolumab (Opdivo), and pembrolizumab (Keytruda), among others.

For patients with metastatic melanoma, a PD–1-based therapy can be used in the frontline, either alone or in combination with an anti–CTLA-4 agent. Patients with high-risk resected melanoma have both nivolumab and pembrolizumab approved as treatment options to reduce the risk of recurrence.
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