Pembrolizumab plus ipilimumab or pegylated interferon alfa-2b for patients with melanoma or renal cell carcinoma: take new drugs but keep the old?

Matthew Zibelman, Elizabeth R. Plimack


In the last decade, the arrival of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) targeting the programmed death 1 (PD-1) pathway has dramatically altered the systemic treatment landscape of both metastatic melanoma (mM) and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Single agent ICB with pembrolizumab for melanoma, and nivolumab for both melanoma and RCC, has resulted in durable and clinically meaningful disease control with overall survival (OS) ranging from 43–55% at 2 years for metastatic mM and 35% at 3 years in mRCC (1-3).