nivolumab (Opdivo) + ipilimumab (Yervoy)

nivolumab (Opdivo) + ipilimumab (Yervoy)

Cancer cells may exploit “regulatory” pathways, such as checkpoint pathways, to hide from the immune system and shield the tumor from immune attack. Nivolumab (Opdivo) + ipilimumab (Yervoy) are immune checkpoint inhibitors that target separate, distinct and complementary checkpoint pathways (PD-1 and CTLA-4).1 which increases your body’s immune response.  The drugs activate immune cells—unleashing them, in effect—so that they can invade tumors and attack melanoma cells.

Ipilimumab blocks a checkpoint molecule called CTLA-4. CTLA-4 regulates the growth and activity of T cells, a type of white blood cell that attacks other cells in the body that look foreign, including some cancer cells. By blocking CTLA-4, ipilimumab activates your immune system against melanoma by allowing T cells to multiply and increase your body’s immune response.

Nivolumab blocks a different checkpoint molecule called PD-1, which helps protect tumor cells from being attacked by your immune system. Nivolumab removes the PD-1 “shield” to allow your immune system to find and attack melanoma cells.

Provincial Funding Summary

Review and positive recommendation has been received in late 2017.  Price negotiations with the provinces began last June and are still not concluded.  Therapy is being offered by BMS on compassionate basis, or available if covered through private insurance.  Please check with your private insurance company regarding the terms of your plan’s coverage.


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Dr. Postow on Nivolumab Combined With Ipilimumab in Melanoma

Dr. Marcus Butler
Expanding Horizons in Melanoma Treatment