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Bristol-Myers Squibb: Skin cancer drug increased patient survival in clinical trial

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PRINCETON, N.J. An investigational drug for skin cancer that had spread to other parts of the body improved survival rates in patients who had received previous treatment, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Saturday by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Bristol said 44% to 46% of patients with metastatic melanoma treated with the monoclonal antibody ipilimumab were still alive after one year, while 22% to 24% were still alive after two years, with overall median survival rates increased by more than three months. Data from the phase 3 trial were published in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s recent annual meeting.

“Metastatic melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with no approved options for pre-treated patients,” said Steven O'Day, study results presenter and chief of research and director of the Melanoma Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. “For the first time, a significant improvement in overall survival has been demonstrated in previously treated, advanced melanoma patients in a large, randomized phase 3 study.”

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