Five-Year Survival with Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma October 17, 2019 | New England Journal of Medicine James Larkin, Vanna Chiarion-Sileni, Rene Gonzalez, Jean-Jacques Grob, Piotr Rutkowski, Christopher D. Lao, C. Lance Cowey, Dirk Schadendorf, John Wagstaff, Reinhard Dummer, Pier F. Ferrucci, Michael Smylie, David Hogg, Andrew Hill, Ivan Márquez-Rodas, John Haanen, Massimo Guidoboni, Michele Maio, Patrick Schöffski, Matteo S. Carlino, Céleste Lebbé, Grant McArthur, Paolo A. Ascierto, Gregory A. Daniels, Georgina V. Long, Lars Bastholt, Jasmine I. Rizzo, Agnes Balogh, Andriy Moshyk, F. Stephen Hodi, and Jedd D. Wolchok PubMed Article More Summary of work In a 5-year follow-up with patients with advanced melanoma, patients who received nivolumab plus ipilimumab or nivolumab alone tended to live longer and their tumors progressed more slowly than those who received ipilimumab alone. Overall survival at 5 years was 52% in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and 44% in the nivolumab group, as compared with 26% in the ipilimumab group. Five-year progression-free survival was 36%, 29%, and 8% in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab, nivolumab, and ipilimumab groups, respectively. There was no sustained decline of health-related quality of life during or after treatment with the immunotherapy regimen. No new late toxic effects were observed in this study. Co-senior authors on the paper include PICI researchers F. Stephen Hodi, MD and co-director Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD. Why this is impactful to patients “10 years ago, only one in twenty patients with advanced melanoma survived beyond five years. This impressive research demonstrates that this immunotherapy combination increases the chances of a patient surviving advanced melanoma significantly.” says Leo Nissola, MD, a senior clinical scientist at PICI. The study has great impact for the field as well. “This was the first trial to use two immunotherapies in tandem to treat a disease. And, this five year milestone is the longest phase 3 follow-up of a combination therapy.” The jury is still out on whether the combination therapy or nivolumab alone is a better option for patients. However, the research affirms that two good options now exist outside of chemotherapy. “It is exciting progress,” said Dr. Nissola.