Combination immunotherapy treatment with anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 checkpoint inhibitors has proven effective as a front-line option for many patients with metastatic melanoma, but it is associated with toxicity rates of more than 50%.
Therefore, additional therapeutic approaches are needed to maximise outcomes and improve patient quality of life.
In a Phase II/III trial led by Hussein Tawbi, M.D., Ph.D., researchers evaluated a novel third-generation checkpoint inhibitor, relatlimab, which targets the immune checkpoint LAG-3.
Patients with untreated, metastatic melanoma received either relatlimab plus nivolumab (anti-PD-1) or nivolumab alone.
A previous report showed that the combination doubled progression-free survival over nivolumab alone with a manageable safety profile.
The current analysis demonstrates the combination achieved an overall response rate of 43% relative to 33% for nivolumab alone.
Median overall survival had not yet been reached in the combination arm, but results continue to show a meaningful improvement over nivolumab alone, albeit not statistically significant.
The findings suggest that the relatlimab and nivolumab combination offers improved outcomes and supports approaches targeting LAG-3 as a novel immunotherapy approach.
Tawbi will present updated results and subgroup analyses on June 5.
Source: MD Anderson Cancer Center
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