In a nutshell
This study was looking at which combination of medication is better at treating late-stage melanoma, ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap) combined with high-dose interleukin-2 (Proleukin) or high-dose interleukin-2 by itself. The study found that using ziv-aflibercept combined with high-dose interleukin-2 was better than using high-dose interleukin-2 alone.
High-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a medication which makes the body’s immune system work better at killing cancer cells. Ziv-aflibercept could support IL-2 in killing cancer cells more effectively. This might work very well in late stage melanoma which is not able to be operated on. Effectiveness was measured by how long the patients went without the tumors growing, which is called progression-free survival, or PFS.
Methods & findings
There were 84 patients in this study. The melanoma was not able to be operated on. Of these 84 patients, 55 received treatment with ziv-aflibercept combined with IL2. The rest (29 patients) were treated only with IL-2. The patients were followed for 41 months on average.
The patients who received the combined medications survived for 7 months without progression of the cancer. This was compared to 2 months in those who only received IL-2. No difference was seen in the overall survival of the patients. The patients who received the combined medications survived for an average of 27 months. This was compared to 24 months of survival in those who only received IL-2.
The bottom line
The study concluded that using ziv-aflibercept combined with high-dose interleukin-2 resulted in longer progression free-survival compared to using high-dose interleukin-2 alone in patients with late-stage melanoma.
The fine print
This is a small study. There are more ways to look at the data, so it is likely that more studies on this combination of medication will come out.
Discuss with your doctor if you feel this treatment might be right for you.
Published By :
Oct 10, 2018