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Melanoma treatment details. Chemotherapy. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, United States

Survival: 9.1 months
Toxicity Grade: 5
Treatments: Chemotherapy
Country: United States
City/State/Province: New York, NY
Hospital: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Journal: Link
Date: 6/2011

In this study, patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma were divided into 2 separate treatment groups. Group A consisted of 250 patients with a median age of 57.5 years, 60.8% of whom were male. There were 252 patients in group B with a median age of 56.4 years and 59.1% were male.

Patients in group A were treated with the chemotherapy agent dacarbazine and the biologic therapy agent ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody that blocks a protein called CTLA-4 and helps the immune system target cancer cells. Group B was treated with dacarbazine and a placebo (sugar pill).

The maximum reported toxicity in group A was of grade 4, including increased liver enzymes, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

There was 1 treatment-related death reported for group B due to gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Grade 4 vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weakness were also reported.

The median overall survival for groups A and B was 11.2 and 9.1 months, respectively.

This study was supported by Bristol Myers Squibb, makers of ipilimumab (brand name Yervoy).

Correspondence: Dr. Jedd D. Wolchok; email:

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