The FDA has approved Yervoy (ipilimumab), a closely-watched new drug for advanced melanoma.
The drug approval is a rare win in the field of melanoma, which has experienced more than its fair share of new drug failures. Melanoma that has spread to other organs is notoriously difficult to treat, leaving patients with few options. Researchers observed higher one- and two-year survival rates for patients on Yervoy, and although ipilimumab is linked to some severe side effects--including colon inflammation, diarrhea and skin rashes and even death--the dearth of options for advanced-stage melanoma patients prompted the agency to approve the drug.
Tony Talebi, MD