Journal Article Efficacy and safety of nivolumab in Japanese patients with previously untreated advanced melanoma: A phase II study

Yamazaki, Naoya  ,  Kiyohara, Yoshio  ,  Uhara, Hisashi  ,  Uehara, Jiro  ,  Fujimoto, Manabu  ,  Takenouchi, Tatsuya  ,  Otsuka, Masaki  ,  Uchi, Hiroshi  ,  Ihn, Hironobu  ,  Minami, Hironobu

108 ( 6 )  , pp.1223 - 1230 , 2017-06 , Wiley
Treating advanced or recurrent melanoma remains a challenge. Cancer cells canevade the immune system by blocking T-cell activation through overexpressionof the inhibitory receptor programmed death 1 (PD-1) ligands. The PD-1 inhibitornivolumab blocks the inhibitory signal in T cells, thus overcoming the immuneresistance of cancer cells. Nivolumab has shown promising anticancer activity invarious cancers. We carried out a single-arm, open-label, multicenter, phase IIstudy to investigate the efficacy and safety of nivolumab in previously untreatedJapanese patients with advanced melanoma. Twenty-four patients with stage III/IV or recurrent melanoma were enrolled and received i.v. nivolumab 3 mg/kgevery 2 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primaryendpoint was overall response rate evaluated by an independent radiologyreview committee. The independent radiology review committee-assessed overallresponse rate was 34.8% (90% confidence interval, 20.8–51.9), and the overallsurvival rate at 18 months was 56.5% (90% confidence interval, 38.0–71.4). Treatment-related adverse events (AEs) of grade 3 or 4 only occurred in three patients(12.5%). Two patients discontinued nivolumab because of AEs, but all AEs wereconsidered manageable by early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Subgroupanalyses showed that nivolumab was clinically beneficial and tolerable regardlessof BRAF genotype, and that patients with treatment-related select AEs and withvitiligo showed tendency for better survival. In conclusion, nivolumab showedfavorable efficacy and safety profiles in Japanese patients with advanced orrecurrent melanoma, with or without BRAF mutations. (Trial registration no.JapicCTI-142533.)

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