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No benefit of combination immunotherapy in treatment of advanced cancers: Study

September 23, 2023

New York, Sep 23

Combination immunotherapy shows no additional benefit for most advanced cancers other than skin cancer, a new study has found.

According to the study published in the journal JAMA Oncology, the combination immunotherapy treatment of nivolumab plus ipilimumab, a targeted therapy drug, was associated with no improvement in survival for advanced cancers other than melanoma (a form of skin cancer), when compared to nivolumab alone.

The findings also suggested that nivolumab plus ipilimumab may be unnecessary for patients with advanced cancers other than melanoma, and that nivolumab monotherapy may provide similar clinical outcomes with reduced toxicity, according to the authors.

"This meta-analysis revealed that in advanced cancers other than melanoma, the addition of ipilimumab to standard-dose nivolumab was not associated with a clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival or progression-free survival, while substantially increasing high-grade toxicities,” said senior author of the study Niraj Shenoy, MD, PhD, associate professor at the US-based Northwestern University.

"Oncologists will hopefully consider these data carefully, along with the specific disease context, before prescribing or recommending the addition of ipilimumab to standard-dose nivolumab in a non-melanoma advanced cancer," he added.

Researchers examined data from eight clinical trials that covered over 1,700 patients with different advanced cancers.

"For cancers in which nivolumab and ipilimumab combination therapy has been approved without comparison with nivolumab monotherapy, non-inferiority trials should be strongly considered," Shenoy said.



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