Emergence of ipilimumab and vemurafenib for melanoma

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Published: 15 Jul 2011
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Prof Reinhard Dummer, Prof Claus Garbe, Dr Caroline Robert, Prof Jürgen Becker
The panel talk about the latest development in ipilimumab therapy for melanoma and discuss the development of vemurafenib to treat patients with the BRAF mutation.

The anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody ipilimumab has changed the landscape of melanoma treatment. Ipilimumab is the first agent to improve overall survival in patients with advanced or metastatic melanoma. The panel explain the mechanism or action, outline the toxicity profile and explain how these side effects should be addressed. Recent research has demonstrated that combining ipilimumab with the peptide cancer vaccine gp100 does not improve outcomes and actually led to inferior rates of disease control and progression-free survival, however combination with other targeted agents is still seen as the future of melanoma treatment.

Vemurafenib is a highly active BRAF inhibitory drug which has produced strong responses in a large proportion of melanoma patients positive for the BRAF mutation.
The panel discuss the research that has been done into the use of the use of vemurafenib, talk about the associated adverse effects and consider how these can be managed.

This programme was made possible with sponsorship from Bristol-Myers Squibb.