Single-Center Experience With Ipilimumab in an Expanded Access Program for Patients With Pretreated Advanced Melanoma

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Ipilimumab, a CTLA-4-blocking monoclonal antibody, improved the overall survival (OS) of advanced melanoma patients treated in prospective clinical trials. We here report a study on the outcome of patients with pretreated advanced melanoma offered ipilimumab (at its licensed dose of 3 mg/kg, every 3 wk for a total of 4 doses) in an expanded access program at a single-center university hospital. Of the 50 patients initiating ipilimumab, 31 patients completed induction therapy and 9 patients were offered reinduction therapy. Most immune-related adverse events were mild and reversible. The best objective response rate by mWHO-criteria included 1 complete response and 4 partial responses (best objective response rate of 10%). Two additional patients obtained a partial response by immune-related response criteria. Median OS was 7 months, with a 1- and 2-year survival rate of 45.2% and 28.8%, respectively. Long-term disease control with ipilimumab was observed in 7 patients of which 4 received reinduction. Baseline serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and the absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) measured on week 6 significantly correlated with OS. In conclusion, in this single-center experience with ipilimumab for advanced pretreated melanoma patients, clinical outcome was comparable with the results of published prospective studies. Reinduction therapy was of importance for maintaining long-term disease control in the majority of responding patients. Baseline CRP and ALC at week 6 deserve further prospective evaluation as prognostic and/or predictive (surrogate) markers.

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