These are intriguing data based on interesting preclinical work, where a combination of immunotherapies not only gives better survival, but, surprisingly, fewer side effects.
—Lynn Mara Schuchter, MD
Lynn Mara Schuchter, MD, the C. Willard Robinson Professor of Hematology-Oncology and Program Leader of the Melanoma Program at Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, commented on the wealth of promising agents now dotting the formerly barren landscape for metastatic melanoma—and said this combination, as distinct from some others—has the advantage of being immediately available in the clinic.
“It’s premature to say that we will be adding GM-CSF [Leukine] to ipilimumab [Yervoy], but these are intriguing data based on interesting preclinical work, where a combination of immunotherapies not only gives better survival, but, surprisingly, fewer side effects,” she said. While more study is needed, she pointed out that this combination “is the one new treatment we can actually think about using when we get back to the clinic.” She also cautioned that more data are needed before this approach can be considered standard. ■
Disclosure: Dr. Schuchter reported no potential conflicts of interest.
For metastatic melanoma, the activity of ipilimumab can be boosted by the addition of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF, Leukine), according to a phase II study that found the combination improved overall survival, vs ipilimumab alone. The results were presented at the 2013...