TUESDAY, Sept. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Checkpoint blockade immunotherapy (CBI) is associated with significant increases in overall survival (OS) in a real-world population of patients undergoing treatment for melanoma brain metastases (MBM), according to research published in the September issue of Cancer Immunology Research.

J. Bryan Iorgulescu, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from the National Cancer Database to evaluate the characteristics, management, and OS of patients who presented with cutaneous MBM from 2010 to 2015.

The researchers found that after the 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals for CBI and BRAFV600-targeted therapy, MBM patients showed a significant increase in four-year OS from 7.4 percent pre-approval to 14.1 percent. The proportion of MBM patients who received CBI post-approval rose from 10.5 percent in 2011 to 34.0 percent in 2015. There was an improved median survival of 12.4 months (compared with 5.2 months) and four-year OS of 28.1 percent (compared with 11.1 percent) with initial CBI in MBM patients. These survival benefits were even higher in MBM patients without extracranial metastases, with CBI showing improved median and four-year OS of 56.4 months (compared with 7.7 months) and 51.5 percent (compared with 16.9 percent), respectively.

“Using a large national cohort composed of a ‘real-life’ MBM treatment population, we demonstrated the dramatic OS improvements associated with novel checkpoint blockade immunotherapies,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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