What is YERVOY® (ipilimumab)?

YERVOY is the most prescribed medication for metastatic melanoma.1
It's thought to work through your immune system, your body's natural defense.

YERVOY® (ipilimumab) is a kind of metastatic melanoma treatment known as immunotherapy. Based on YERVOY clinical trials, it was approved by the FDA to treat melanoma that has spread (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable).

Immunotherapy cancer treatment generally works by stimulating people’s own immune systems.

YERVOY does not kill melanoma directly. YERVOY is thought to work by helping to boost your body’s natural immune system—your personal weapon against metastatic melanoma. YERVOY may not work in all patients and may affect healthy cells too, which could result in serious side effects in many parts of your body. Some of those side effects may lead to death. Talk to your doctor about any questions you may have about YERVOY.

1. IMS APLD data, 12 months ending April 2014

 

What does the immune system have to do with metastatic melanoma?

Your immune system is your body’s natural defense, helping to protect you from disease. When the immune system is working normally, a group of cells called T cells seek out harmful cells, such as melanoma, and get rid of them. Sometimes the T cells don’t work as well at fighting the cancer cells in people with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, which is where immunotherapy—with YERVOY—comes in.

YERVOY does not kill melanoma directly. Instead, it’s thought to work with the body’s immune system to increase the activity of T cells—something everyone has.

When you and your oncologist discuss treatment options, talk about how YERVOY can work with the immune system—your personal weapon against metastatic melanoma.

Please see the Important Safety Information regarding immune-mediated side effects below.

Different treatments for metastatic melanoma may work differently

Targeted therapy:

With metastatic melanoma, a different kind of treatment known as “targeted therapy” may be prescribed for people whose tumors have a specific mutation—the BRAF mutation. Your physician will likely do some tests on your melanoma tumor(s), which may include a genetic test to detect your BRAF status.
A BRAF positive status means the tumor(s) has a damaged BRAF gene that is found in about half of all metastatic melanoma tumors.

You should know that the YERVOY clinical study did not test metastatic melanoma patients’ tumors for BRAF status and, therefore, may have included both BRAF negative (wild-type) and BRAF positive (mutant) patients. As a result, it’s not known what, if any, clinical relevance BRAF status has with respect to YERVOY.

Ask your doctor if YERVOY could be right for you, regardless of your BRAF status.

Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. It can also harm other kinds of cells. As an immunotherapy cancer treatment, YERVOY is thought to use your body’s natural defenses— boosting your own immune system to help fight the melanoma. YERVOY may not work in all patients and may affect healthy cells too, which could result in serious side effects in many parts of your body. Some of these side effects may lead to death. Talk to your doctor about any questions you may have about YERVOY.

Please see the Important Safety Information regarding immune-mediated side effects below.

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