In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out if patients with melanoma who had immune system side effects after treatment with nivolumab (Opdivo) had better outcomes than patients without side effects. The study found that the patients who had side effects from using nivolumab ended up with better responses to treatment and survived for longer.
Nivolumab is a medication used to treat melanoma cancer. It works by activating the immune system. By doing this, negative side effects are often seen in those treated with nivolumab. It is not known if these negative side effects might be able to predict how well patients respond to treatment with nivolumab.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 15 patients. All of these patients had been diagnosed with melanoma cancer. All of these patients were treated with nivolumab. After treatment, the patients were split into two categories, those who had negative side effects, and those who did not.
Of the 15 patients, 8 experienced side effects, and 7 did not experience side effects. The side effects included rash, issues with hormone function, issues with liver function, upset stomach, issues with kidney function, issues with blood cell numbers, and loss of feeling in the fingers and toes. Overall, in the patients who experienced side effects, 75% of them had their disease controlled after treatment. Of those who had no side effects, 14% had their disease controlled after treatment. The patients who experienced side effects survived for longer overall than those who had no side effects.
The bottom line
The study concluded that after treatment of melanoma with nivolumab, those who had negative side effects fared better overall compared to those who had no side effects.
The fine print
This is a very small study. Analysis should be performed in a larger group to see if this is true.
Published By :
Dec 06, 2018