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Ipilimumab in the treatment of metastatic melanoma: a summary of recent studies

Paolo A Ascierto

Tumori, 99: e302-e305, 2013


In the last 20 years, the survival and quality of life outcomes for patients with metastatic melanoma have been poor, with unsatisfactory results of chemotherapy and immunotherapy-based regimens. No drug or combination of drugs had any impact on survival until 2011, when ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody against cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), was approved for clinical use. Phase III trials have shown, for the first time ever, an overall survival benefit of ipilimumab compared with standard treatment, with a manageable toxicity profile. This review will discuss the mechanism of action of ipilimumab and the clinical trials that led to its approval.