"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A study to learn more about treatment for advanced melanoma (IMAGE)
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 (
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.
Dr Toby Talbot
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer