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First-line treatment of metastatic melanoma: role of nivolumab

Authors Force J, Salama AK

Received 13 April 2016

Accepted for publication 27 July 2016

Published 13 February 2017 Volume 2017:6 Pages 1—10


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Michael Shurin

Jeremy Force,1 April KS Salama,1,2

1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; 2Division of Medical Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

Abstract: Historically, the median overall survival of metastatic melanoma patients was less than 1 year and long-term survivors were rare. Recent advances in therapies have dramatically shifted this landscape with increased survival rates and the real possibility that long-term disease control is achievable. Advances in immune modulators, including cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 and programmed death-1 based treatments, have been an integral part of this success. In this article, we review previous and recent therapeutic developments for metastatic melanoma patients. We discuss advances in immunotherapy while focusing on the use of nivolumab alone and in combination with other agents, including ipilimumab in advanced melanoma. One major goal in melanoma research is to optimize combination strategies allowing for more patients to experience benefit while minimizing toxicity. A better understanding of the optimal sequencing, combinations, and mechanisms underlying the development of resistance may provide evidence for rational clinical trial designs of novel immunotherapy strategies in melanoma and other cancer subtypes.

Keywords: PD-1, immunotherapy, pembrolizumab, PD-L1, resistance, checkpoint, BRAF

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