Melanoma Highlights From ASCO 2021

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD


June 29, 2021

Dr Jeffrey Weber, of NYU School of Medicine, highlights noteworthy studies in melanoma presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Dr Weber reviews two presentations on a new immunotherapy, relatlimab, given in combination with nivolumab. The first study, a phase 2 trial from MD Anderson Cancer Center, tested relatlimab and nivolumab as neoadjuvant/adjuvant therapy. The results suggest that a major pathologic response can be achieved neoadjuvantly by a well-tolerable regimen in many resectable stage 3 patients. The second study, the RELATIVITY-047 phase 3 trial from Johns Hopkins Cancer Center, compared a regimen of relatlimab and nivolumab vs nivolumab alone. The relatlimab-nivolumab arm resulted in progression-free survival of 10.1 months vs 4.6 for nivolumab. These encouraging data suggest that this combination regimen could become a new standard of care.

Dr Weber next reviews the updated results of the LEAP-004 study which indicated that the combination of pembrolizumab and lenvatinib may prove to be an option for patients with unresectable melanoma whose disease has progressed on PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors.

He concludes by discussing an update of the COLUMBUS trial. The 5-year overall survival data confirmed long-term efficacy and safety of the combination of encorafenib and binimetinib over encorafenib or vemurafenib, findings which he said should provide reassurance for clinicians in the melanoma arena.


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