HealthDay News — For patients with metastatic melanoma, the addition of local peripheral treatments (LPT) such as radiotherapy or electrochemotherapy is beneficial, according to a study published online July 27 in Cancer Immunology Research.

Sebastian Theurich, MD, from the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany, and colleagues examined data for 127 consecutively treated melanoma patients at four cancer centers. Patients received ipilimumab (82 patients) or ipilimumab and additional LPT (45 patients).

The researchers found that the addition of LPT to ipilimumab correlated with significantly prolonged overall survival (median, 93 vs 42 weeks; unadjusted hazard ratio, 0.46; P=0.0028). The combination treatment did not result in an increase in adverse immune-related events; in most cases, LPT-induced local toxicities were mild. After adjustment for BRAF status, tumor stage, tumor burden, and central nervous system metastases, the effect of added LPT on overall survival persisted (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.31 to 1.01; P=0.05).

“Our data suggest that the addition of LPT to ipilimumab is safe and effective in patients with metastatic melanoma irrespective of clinical disease characteristics and known risk factors,” the authors write. “Induction of antitumor immune responses is most likely the underlying mechanism and warrants prospective validation.”

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