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Ipilimumab (Yervoy) is given through an IV during an office visit every three weeks for a total of four doses. The recommended does is 3 mg/kg.9 The standard course of treatment costs about $120,000. For patients who showed severe side effects, the recommendation is to cease, use hydrocortisone, and to not try it again. Ipilimumab was approved by the FDA in March 2011, however, the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence8 did not approve payment for the drug with the reasoning that it helped only 20-30% of the patients live approximately four months longer and the cost of the drug exceeded the perceived benefit. It will be important to follow the research as the drug is tried on other cancers and given to a larger number of patients in the US and other countries.
Effect of Ipilimumab on Melanoma
Ipilimumab, the first cancer immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma, is the first drug to be FDA approved in many years. Ipilimumab is sold as Yervoy by Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Interleukin-2, the last...
Read more about Melanoma and Ipilimumab.