Meta-analysis led by UF researchers compares different treatment options for advanced melanoma

In a study published in JAMA Network Open, researchers in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy used a network meta-analysis to compare novel immune checkpoint inhibitors, or ICIs, as a treatment option for advanced melanoma. In recent years, immunotherapy with novel ICIs has revolutionized the treatment approaches of advanced melanoma. Unfortunately, these treatments can cause unwanted immune-related adverse events, such as rash, diarrhea, hepatitis and pneumonia. These effects can be life threatening or severe enough to cause a patient to stop taking the treatment. Identifying which ICI treatments are most associated with the various unwanted events can help clinicians choose the best treatment for their patients.Jenny Lo-Ciganic

Weihsuan “Jenny” Lo-Ciganic, Ph.D., M.S., M.S.Pharm., an assistant professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy in the UF College of Pharmacy, and Ching-Yuan “Peggy” Chang, M.S., a graduate student in the department, led the meta-analyisis. Their study found that two pembrolizumab regimens (2 mg/kg by intravenous infusion every three weeks or 10 mg/kg by intravenous infusion every three weeks), and one nivolumab regimen (3 mg/kg by intravenous infusion every two weeks) were the three ICI regimens with the lowest risk of any or severe immune-related adverse events. By using network analysis, the team was able to compare results from randomized trials even when head-to-head comparisons were lacking. Lo-Ciganic said study’s findings may be valuable for clinical decision-making regarding treatment regimen selection for individuals with advanced melanoma.