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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2013, Article ID 423829, 8 pages
Review Article

Ipilimumab: A First-in-Class  T-Cell Potentiator for Metastatic Melanoma

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Received 22 January 2013; Accepted 12 April 2013

Academic Editor: Sanjiv S. Agarwala

Copyright © 2013 Bartosz Chmielowski. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ipilimumab, a fully human anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 monoclonal antibody that potentiates antitumor T-cell responses, has demonstrated improved survival in previously treated and treatment-naïve patients with unresectable stage III/IV melanoma. Survival benefit has also been shown in diverse patient populations, including those with brain metastases. In 2011, ipilimumab (3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for 4 doses) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Ipilimumab can induce novel response patterns for which immune-related response criteria have been proposed. irAEs are common but are usually low grade; higher grades can be severe and life-threatening. irAEs are usually manageable using established guidelines emphasizing vigilance and prompt intervention. This agent provides an additional therapeutic option in metastatic melanoma, and guidelines for management of adverse events facilitate clinical implementation of this new agent.