A long-term follow up of people on an international clinical trial has confirmed the benefit of immunotherapy for certain patients with advanced (stage 3 or 4) melanoma. More than 18 per cent of patients were still alive five years after being treated with ipilimumab (Yervoy) in combination with a chemotherapy drug called dacarbazine. This compared to fewer than nine per cent who were treated with chemo alone. Ipilimumab is one of a new class of cancer treatments that target the immune system, and works by homing in on a molecule found on immune cells called CTLA-4.
Link to the research: Maio M. (2015). Five-Year Survival Rates for Treatment-Naive Patients With Advanced Melanoma Who Received Ipilimumab Plus Dacarbazine in a Phase III Trial Journal of Clinical Oncology