MONDAY, March 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients with previously untreated metastatic or unresectable melanoma, the combination of relatlimab + nivolumab continues to demonstrate a progression-free survival (PFS) benefit over nivolumab alone, according to updated study results presented March 14 as part of the American Society for Clinical Oncology Plenary Series.

Georgina V. Long, M.D., Ph.D., from the Melanoma Institute Australia at the University of Sydney, and colleagues randomly assigned patients with previously untreated metastatic or unresectable melanoma to receive either relatlimab + nivolumab or nivolumab alone, given intravenously every four weeks (355 and 359 patients, respectively). Patients were followed for a median of 19.3 months.

The researchers found that the updated median PFS was 10.2 and 4.6 months with relatlimab + nivolumab and nivolumab alone, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.6 to 0.9). Median overall survival was not reached with relatlimab + nivolumab and was 34.1 months with nivolumab alone (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.6 to 1.0; P = 0.0593). The overall survival rates were 77.0 and 71.6 percent at 12 months and 63.7 and 58.3 percent at 24 months, for relatlimab + nivolumab and nivolumab alone, respectively. The confirmed overall response rates were 43.1 and 32.6 percent, respectively. More grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in patients receiving relatlimab + nivolumab versus nivolumab alone (21.1 versus 11.1 percent).

“These findings provide additional evidence of the benefit of two checkpoint inhibitors over only one and supports the combination of nivolumab and relatlimab, which had a manageable safety profile, as a potential new treatment option for patients with advanced melanoma,” Long said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Bristol Myers Squibb, which manufactures relatlimab and funded the study.

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