A study to learn more about treatment for advanced melanoma (IMAGE)

Cancer type:

Skin cancer




Phase 4

This study was done to collect information about side effects and quality of life of people having treatment for advanced melanoma. This means melanoma that cannot be removed with surgery or has spread to another part of the body. 

More about this trial

Doctors can treat advanced melanoma with a targeted cancer drug called ipilimumab (Yervoy). Ipilimumab is a type of monoclonal antibody

Researchers wanted to learn more about how ipilimumab affects people, the side effects they have, and how side effects can be managed.

They also wanted to find out more about other treatments people were having for advanced melanoma, and the impact that different treatments have on their quality of life.

The researchers hope that the information they collect will help improve treatment for people with melanoma in the future

Summary of results

To begin with, the research team looked at 177 people who had treatment for advanced melanoma at a time before ipilimumab was available. The treatments they had included chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

The researchers were able to assess how well the treatments worked in 150 of the people taking part. They found that the melanoma had:

  • gone away completely in 3 people 
  • got a bit smaller in 8 people 
  • stayed the same in 19 people 
  • continued to grow in 120 people

The results showed that the most common length of time before the cancer started to grow again was 2.6 months. And that most people lived for just under 9 months.

The research team concluded that this information could be used to compare how well other treatments for advanced melanoma work in the future.

Next they looked at 1,371 people with advanced melanoma and looked at which treatments they had had:

  • 1,152 people (84%) had had ipilimumab 
  • 219 people (16%) had had other treatments such as chemotherapy

They looked at how long the people in both groups lived and found it was:

  • 11 months for those who had ipilimumab
  • 9 months for those who had other treatments

When they looked at how likely it was for people with advanced melanoma to be living a year after joining the trial, they found it was:

  • 48% for those having ipilimumab
  • 41% for those having other treatments

These are not the final results and since this trial was started, other treatments for advanced melanoma have become available. But the research team concluded that, so far, the results show that ipilimumab worked better for advanced melanoma than the other treatments used in this trial. 

The research team plan to do more analysis on this trial, and we hope to update this page when they have more results.

We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Toby Talbot

Supported by

Bristol-Myers Squibb
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 9587

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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