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Neoadjuvant Combo Immunotherapy Studied in Resectable Melanoma

In phase 2 study, relatlimab and nivolumab combination immunotherapy resulted in pathologic complete response rate of 57 percent

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients with resectable clinical stage III or oligometastatic stage IV melanoma, neoadjuvant relatlimab and nivolumab combination immunotherapy results in a 57 percent pathologic complete response rate, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in Nature.

Rodabe N. Amaria, M.D., from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues examined the efficacy of relatlimab and nivolumab combination immunotherapy in patients with resectable clinical stage III or oligometastatic stage IV melanoma. Pathologic complete response was measured as the primary end point.

The researchers found that among 30 patients treated, the combination resulted in 57 percent pathologic complete response rate and 70 percent overall pathologic response rate. Using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors 1.1, the radiographic response rate was 57 percent. In the neoadjuvant setting, there were no grade 3 to 4 immune-related adverse events reported. The one- and two-year recurrence-free survival rate was 100 and 92 percent and 88 and 55 percent for patients with any and without a pathologic response, respectively. There were associations observed for increased immune cell infiltration at baseline and a reduction in M2 macrophages during treatment with pathologic response.

“We’re very pleased to see that the combination of relatlimab and nivolumab balanced safety and efficacy, and it did not result in any delays to surgery,” Amaria said in a statement. “We want to provide patients with a treatment option that will help reduce the risk of their cancer returning after surgery.”

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

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