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N Engl J Med. 2017 Oct 5;377(14):1345-1356. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1709684. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Overall Survival with Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma.

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From the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York (J.D.W., M.A.P., M.K.C.); Oncology Institute of Veneto Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Padua (V.C.-S.), European Institute of Oncology, Milan (P.F.F.), Center for Immuno-Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Istituto Toscano Tumori, Siena (M.M.), the Immunotherapy and Somatic Cell Therapy Unit, IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Meldola (M.G.), and Istituto Nazionale Tumori Fondazione Pascale, Naples (P.A.A.) - all in Italy; University of Colorado, Denver (R.G.); Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute-Oncology Center, Warsaw, Poland (P.R.); Aix-Marseille University, Hôpital de la Timone, Marseille (J.-J.G.), and Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Dermatology and Centres d'Investigation Clinique, INSERM Unité 976, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Université Paris Diderot, Paris (C.L.) - both in France; Texas Oncology-Baylor Cancer Center, Dallas (C.L.C.); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (C.D.L.); the College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea (J.W.), and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London (J.L.) - both in the United Kingdom; the Department of Dermatology, University of Essen, Essen, and the German Cancer Consortium, Heidelberg - both in Germany (D.S.); Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB (M.S.), and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto (D.H.) - both in Canada; Universitäts Spital, Zurich, Switzerland (R.D.); Tasman Oncology Research, Southport Gold Coast, QLD (A.H.), Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney (M.S.C.), and Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney, and Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals (G.V.L.), Sydney, and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (G.M.) and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, University of Melbourne (J.C.), Melbourne, VIC - all in Australia; Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (J.H.); University Hospitals Leuven, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (O.B.); General University Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid (I.M.-R.); Northwestern University, Chicago (J.S.); Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ (D.W., L.R., R.B.); and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston (F.S.H.).



Nivolumab combined with ipilimumab resulted in longer progression-free survival and a higher objective response rate than ipilimumab alone in a phase 3 trial involving patients with advanced melanoma. We now report 3-year overall survival outcomes in this trial.


We randomly assigned, in a 1:1:1 ratio, patients with previously untreated advanced melanoma to receive nivolumab at a dose of 1 mg per kilogram of body weight plus ipilimumab at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram every 3 weeks for four doses, followed by nivolumab at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram every 2 weeks; nivolumab at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram every 2 weeks plus placebo; or ipilimumab at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram every 3 weeks for four doses plus placebo, until progression, the occurrence of unacceptable toxic effects, or withdrawal of consent. Randomization was stratified according to programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) status, BRAF mutation status, and metastasis stage. The two primary end points were progression-free survival and overall survival in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and in the nivolumab group versus the ipilimumab group.


At a minimum follow-up of 36 months, the median overall survival had not been reached in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and was 37.6 months in the nivolumab group, as compared with 19.9 months in the ipilimumab group (hazard ratio for death with nivolumab plus ipilimumab vs. ipilimumab, 0.55 [P<0.001]; hazard ratio for death with nivolumab vs. ipilimumab, 0.65 [P<0.001]). The overall survival rate at 3 years was 58% in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and 52% in the nivolumab group, as compared with 34% in the ipilimumab group. The safety profile was unchanged from the initial report. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 59% of the patients in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group, in 21% of those in the nivolumab group, and in 28% of those in the ipilimumab group.


Among patients with advanced melanoma, significantly longer overall survival occurred with combination therapy with nivolumab plus ipilimumab or with nivolumab alone than with ipilimumab alone. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and others; CheckMate 067 number, NCT01844505 .).

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