Sept 27 Yervoy, the melanoma drug sold by
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, improves survival for around 22
percent of patients, according pooled results from 12 clinical
trials to be presented by the company at a European conference
The results, from trials involving 1,861 patients, show that
the number of survivors plateaus at around 3 years of treatment,
with some patients so far followed for up to 10 years.
"This pooled analysis is encouraging, particularly when
considering that metastatic melanoma is one of the most
aggressive forms of cancer and historically, average survival
was just six to nine months," Dr. F. Stephen Hodi, of Boston's
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, said in a statement.
Yervoy, also known as ipilimumab, is designed to unleash the
body's own immune system to fight tumors.
Bristol-Myers is testing the drug against a variety of other
cancers, including those of the lung, stomach and ovaries. The
company said last month that initial results from a late-stage
trial showed that Yervoy failed to significantly prolong
survival among patients with advanced prostate cancer who had
previously received chemotherapy.
Results from the analysis of melanoma trials were scheduled
for presentation on Saturday in Amsterdam at a meeting of the
European Cancer Congress.