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Nivolumab (Opdivo) for Melanoma after complete resection of Stage IIIb/c or Stage IV Melanoma (adjuvant therapy)

Drugs

Cancer and Palliative Care

July 2017


Nivolumab is a drug which blocks a protein, called the programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor, on the surface of certain immune cells (called T-cells). By blocking the PD-1 receptor, nivolumab stops the cancer cells evading immune-mediated tumour destruction. This restores T-cell activity and the patient’s own immune system is able to directly fight and kill cancer cells. Nivolumab is given as a drip directly into a vein in the hand or arm. Studies of nivolumab in this population are currently being conducted to determine if its use as an accompanying therapy to cancer removal surgery may extend survival or reduce the likelihood of disease recurrence.

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