Ipilimumab (Yervoy)

This immunotherapy helps the body’s immune system recognize and destroy melanoma cells. It blocks CTLA-4, a protein on T cells that normally helps keep them in check. Ipilimumab is given intravenously. One dose is given every three weeks for four treatments. Ipilimumab can lengthen life in people with advanced disease with melanoma that can’t be removed by surgery or that has spread to other parts of the body (stage IIIC – IV). Often, ipilimumab is prescribed in combination with nivolumab, which has resulted in longer progression-free survival and a higher objective response rate than ipilimumab alone.

Side Effects

The most common side effects from this drug include fatigue, diarrhea, skin rash, and itching. Serious side effects seem to happen more often with this drug than with the PD-1 inhibitors. Like the PD-1 inhibitors, this drug can cause the immune system to attack other parts of the body, which can lead to serious problems in the intestines, liver, hormone-making glands, nerves, skin, eyes, or other organs. In some people these side effects have been fatal.

It’s very important to report any new side effects during or after treatment to your health care team promptly.

Refrence:  https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/treating/immunotherapy.html

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Provincial Funding Summary

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Ipilimumab (Yervoy) for Advanced Melanoma
This information is current as of August 4, 2016

Note: Funding criteria as listed on the decision date. Please refer to the provincial drug programs for the most recent funding criteria and program eligibility.

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Please note: This information is not meant to act as a treatment decision aid, but rather to provide general information about which metastatic melanoma or skin cancer treatments are covered by provincial health care plans in Canada. It is current to the date indicated and may not be currently accurate due to the changing landscape of coverage in Canada. If you have private insurance coverage, you may have access to therapies not covered by the provincial plans in your province.  All information obtained about specific treatments should be further discussed with your physician.

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