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Recent Advances in the Treatment Landscape of Melanoma

Ahmad Tarhini, MD, PhD
Published Online:8:36 PM, Thu May 10, 2018

Ahmad Tarhini, MD, PhD, director of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program and Immune-Oncology Research at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, discusses 3 recent trials that are changing the adjuvant treatment landscape of melanoma. The treatments presented in these trials have less toxicities overall and less impact on the quality of life, according to Tarhini.

In September 2017, findings from 2 significant melanoma trials were presented at the 2017 ESMO Congress. CheckMate-238 compared treatment of nivolumab (Opdivo) to the standard of care, ipilimumab (Yervoy), in patients with high-risk melanoma. Findings demonstrated an improvement in the risk of relapse, leading to the FDA approval of this treatment as the new standard of care.

The COMBI-AD trial compared with the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) versus placebo in patients with BRAF-mutant tumors. The findings suggested a significant improvement in reducing the risk of relapse, Tarhini said.

Recently, the KEYNOTE-054 study results were presented at the 2018 AACR Annual Meeting, concluding that pembrolizumab might be a valuable treatment option for patients with high-risk, surgically-resected melanoma. Tarhini says the data from these trials will lead to major improvements in patient outcomes in the following years.
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