Among patients with cutaneous melanoma who had melanoma brain metastases (MBM), first-line treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor was associated with a 1.4-fold increase in median overall survival, according to results from a national cohort. These results were published online on July 12, 2018 in Cancer Immunology Research. The article is titled “Improved Risk-Adjusted Survival for Melanoma Brain Metastases in the Era of Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapies: Results from a National Cohort.” The first author of the study is J. Bryan Iorgulescu, MD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Senior authors are Timothy Smith, MD, PhD, MPH, Director of the Computational Neuroscience Outcomes Center at the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School; and mentor to Dr. Iorgulescu, and David A. Reardon, MD, Clinical Director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Checkpoint blockade immunotherapies have revolutionized how we care for patients with advanced melanoma, leading to long-lasting treatment responses in many patients," said Dr. Iorgulescu. "However, many of the early clinical trials of checkpoint blockade immunotherapies included few melanoma patients with brain metastases - despite their high incidence - and so the survival benefits of these exciting therapies remained unclear for this substantial subset of patients." Dr. Iorgulescu and colleagues evaluated data collected from the National Cancer Database (NCDB), which includes information for approximately 70 percent of newly diagnosed patients with cancer in the United States.
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