MIA leads the world-first study that finds anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab increases the survival of patients

MIA leads the world-first study that finds anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab increases the survival of patients

20 April 2015

Melanoma Institute Australia and its key affiliate, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead were the highest recruiting centre worldwide for the study into the immunotherapies pembrolizumab versus ipilimumab, in advanced melanoma, with the findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the leading medical journal in the world.

The study found that the anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab (trade name KEYTRUDA®) prolonged survival, and had less high-grade toxicity, compared with ipilimumab (trade name YERVOY®) in patients with advanced melanoma, that is, melanoma that has spread to distant parts of the body.

Associate Professor Georgina Long from Melanoma Institute Australia and University of Sydney said, “Here at MIA and Westmead we have been undertaking clinical trials with immunotherapy treatment using anti-PD-1 drugs for over three years, and these findings are the final piece of data that show the anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab is better than current treatments for patients with advanced melanoma.”

The immune checkpoint inhibitor, ipilimumab, is one of the standard treatments for patients with advanced melanoma. The latest findings show that pembrolizumab, which inhibits the programmed death receptor 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint on immune T cells, has antitumor activity: that is, it reduces the size of the tumours in patients with advanced melanoma in approximately 70% of patients, with deep reduction in over 30%, and prolongs survival compared with ipilimumab.

This clinical trial using pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) recorded a 1 year survival rate of 74%, whilst those who received ipilimumab (YERVOY®) had a 1 year survival rate of 58%. Five years ago, only 30-35% of patients with advanced melanoma survived 1-year.

“These results are world-first, where two effective immunotherapies are directly compared, and we significantly improve outcomes for patients even further. This is great news for Australia, which has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, and an Australian dies from this disease every 6 hours” said Assoc Prof Georgina Long. “This is evidence which will be considered by bodies around the world, including the Australian Government, to make these drugs accessible to all melanoma patients".

Research Co-Director of Melanoma Institute Australia and Macquarie University Professor Rick Kefford claims, “this breakthrough is probably the most important development in the treatment of this disease ever, and a landmark in terms of cancer treatment in general.”

Others Australian centres involved in this trial include: Newcastle Melanoma Unit, NSW; The Austin Hospital, VIC; Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital, WA; Princes Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Sydney Cancer Centre, RPAH, NSW.

 

Possible PBS listing for dabrafenib and trametinib
18 Dec 2018

Possible PBS listing for dabrafenib and trametinib

Clinicians, patients and other stakeholders in the cancer community are invited to make submissions in support of the PBS listing for dabrafenib and trametinib.

Arden Anglican School wins SunSafe Ambassador competition
13 Dec 2018

Arden Anglican School wins SunSafe Ambassador competition

Three students from Arden Anglican School in Epping have won Melanoma Institute Australia’s (MIA) inaugural SunSafe Student Ambassador Award.

DON'T CLOUD THE SUN-SAFE MESSAGE
08 Dec 2018

DON'T CLOUD THE SUN-SAFE MESSAGE

Mark Whittaker’s ‘Here comes the sun; Defending our summer rays’ (GW 24 Nov) clouds the sun-safe message – which could have disastrous consequences.

Professor Georgina Long named as one of world's most highly cited researchers
04 Dec 2018

Professor Georgina Long named as one of world's most highly cited researchers

Professor Georgina Long is among only 12 researchers from the University of Sydney to be named in the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers List.

Aussies need to protect themselves from 'everyday' sun damage
01 Dec 2018

Aussies need to protect themselves from 'everyday' sun damage

‘Wearing sunscreen should be as automatic as wearing a seatbelt. Both are potential life savers.

The Poche Centre to host 3D total-body imaging system as part of world-first initiative to save lives from melanoma
29 Nov 2018

The Poche Centre to host 3D total-body imaging system as part of world-first initiative to save lives from melanoma

A prestigious $10 million Australian Cancer Research Foundation grant has been awarded to ACEMID, an initiative that aims to use 3D total-body imaging and a remote medicine network to improve the detection and diagnosis of early-stage melanoma.

Major award for world-leaders in melanoma research
09 Nov 2018

Major award for world-leaders in melanoma research

Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer have been recognised as world leaders in melanoma research for their ground-breaking work that has changed the diagnosis and treatment landscape of melanoma world-wide, and tripled the life-expectancy of advanced melanoma patients. 

Melanoma Institute Australia shines at prestigious Cancer Research Awards
03 Nov 2018

Melanoma Institute Australia shines at prestigious Cancer Research Awards

Leading researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia have taken out the top accolades at the NSW Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR
31 Oct 2018

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR

An impressive contingent of female delegates from Melanoma Institute Australia have presented findings across the whole spectrum of melanoma research at the Society for Melanoma Research 2018 Congress in Manchester, England.

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR
31 Oct 2018

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR - Copy

An impressive contingent of female delegates from Melanoma Institute Australia have presented findings across the whole spectrum of melanoma research at the Society for Melanoma Research 2018 Congress in Manchester, England.

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR
31 Oct 2018

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR - Copy

An impressive contingent of female delegates from Melanoma Institute Australia have presented findings across the whole spectrum of melanoma research at the Society for Melanoma Research 2018 Congress in Manchester, England.

Immune cell research presented at SMR
30 Oct 2018

Immune cell research presented at SMR

Over 800 researchers and clinicians from around the world were welcomed to Manchester for the 15th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR). Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has again sent an impressive number of delegates to present both oral presentations and posters with the latest in translational research.

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the Society for Melanoma Research
26 Oct 2018

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the Society for Melanoma Research

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the world’s most prestigious international melanoma research association.

Patients to benefit from updated skin tumour publications
26 Oct 2018

Patients to benefit from updated skin tumour publications

Two publications co-edited by MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer are now available to healthcare professionals. They aim to provide assistance in the care and management of patients with skin cancer, including melanoma.

SunSafe Student Ambassador Program
25 Oct 2018

SunSafe Student Ambassador Program

Melanoma Institute Australia has introduced a new educational program to teach teenagers about the dangers of melanoma and the importance of sun safety. 

International collaboration the key to increasing survival
24 Oct 2018

International collaboration the key to increasing survival

"International collaboration remains the key to ensuring this pioneering research continues so we can increase survival rates for advanced melanoma patients and move us closer to achieving our goal of zero deaths from melanoma," says Professor Georgina Long, of the clinical trial results presented at ESMO 2018.

High-risk Stage III melanoma patients to benefit from Australia/Netherlands collaboration
23 Oct 2018

High-risk Stage III melanoma patients to benefit from Australia/Netherlands collaboration

Research that could change clinical practice for high-risk Stage III melanoma patients has been presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Munich.

Monthly dose of immunotherapy allows flexibility for patients undergoing treatment
11 Oct 2018

Monthly dose of immunotherapy allows flexibility for patients undergoing treatment

A larger, monthly dose of immunotherapy can give melanoma patients more freedom without sacrificing effectiveness.

Australia's best minds in melanoma research converge on Melbourne
08 Oct 2018

Australia's best minds in melanoma research converge on Melbourne

The Australasian Melanoma Conference, hosted by the Australasian Melanoma Conference Committee, was held in Melbourne on the weekend, with many of MIA's clinicians in attendance.

Nobel Prize for novel cancer therapies
04 Oct 2018

Nobel Prize for novel cancer therapies

The two men who discovered checkpoint inhibitors, the brakes of the immune system, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday, October 1.