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Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Melanoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study wanted to find out if the drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is effective in treating mucosal melanoma. The study found that pembrolizumab had some effect on mucosal melanoma, and the overall survival of patients was 11 months.

Some background

Mucosal melanoma is a very aggressive type of cancer, with no specific treatment. Recent studies have shown that the anti-cancer drug pembrolizumab may work in killing mucosal melanoma cells. Some people think that this treatment might not work in patients who have been treated with ipilimumab (Yervoy) before. This is because pembrolizumab and ipilimumab work in similar ways.

Methods & findings

There were 84 patients in this study. All of the patients were diagnosed with mucosal melanoma at stage 3 or 4. All the patients in this study received pembrolizumab treatment. They all were treated at different doses and for varying amounts of time.

Overall, 19% of patients responded to treatment with pembrolizumab. In patients who had never been treated with ipilimumab, 22% responded to treatment with pembrolizumab. In patients who had been treated with ipilimumab previously, 15% responded to treatment with pembrolizumab. On average, the patients who were treated with pembrolizumab survived for 11 months.

The bottom line

The study concluded that pembrolizumab has some effect on mucosal melanoma, and it does not matter if the patient has already been treated with ipilimumab.

The fine print

This study was very small, and was part of a larger study. The patients were not all treated exactly the same. There was no group to compare with the patients who had pembrolizumab.

What’s next?

Discuss your treatment plan with your doctor if you are concerned.

Published By :

British Journal of Cancer

Date :

Sep 11, 2018

Original Title :

Antitumour activity of pembrolizumab in advanced mucosal melanoma: a post-hoc analysis of KEYNOTE-001, 002, 006.

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