Journal of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Clinical Oncology
School of Medical and Health Sciences
PURPOSE: To address the paucity of data in patients with historically poor outcomes, we conducted the single-arm phase IIIb CheckMate 401 study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of nivolumab plus ipilimumab followed by nivolumab monotherapy in clinically diverse patient populations with advanced melanoma. METHODS: Treatment-naive patients with unresectable stage III-IV melanoma received nivolumab 1 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg once every 3 weeks (four doses) followed by nivolumab 3 mg/kg (240 mg following a protocol amendment) once every 2 weeks for ≤ 24 months. The primary end point was the incidence of grade 3-5 select treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs). Overall survival (OS) was a secondary end point. Outcomes were evaluated in subgroups defined by Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS), brain metastasis status, and melanoma subtype. RESULTS: In total, 533 patients received at least one dose of study drug. Grade 3-5 select TRAEs affecting the GI (16%), hepatic (15%), endocrine (11%), skin (7%), renal (2%), and pulmonary (1%) systems occurred in the all-treated population; similar incidence rates were observed across all subgroups. At 21.6 months' median follow-up, 24-month OS rates were 63% in the all-treated population, 44% in the ECOG PS 2 subgroup (including patients with cutaneous melanoma only), 71% in the brain metastasis subgroup, 36% in the ocular/uveal melanoma subgroup, and 38% in the mucosal melanoma subgroup. CONCLUSION: Nivolumab plus ipilimumab followed by nivolumab monotherapy was tolerable in patients with advanced melanoma and poor prognostic characteristics. Efficacy was similar between the all-treated population and patients with brain metastases. Reduced efficacy was observed in patients with ECOG PS 2, ocular/uveal melanoma, and/or mucosal melanoma, highlighting the continued need for novel treatment options for these difficult-to-treat patients.
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