Providence study points to a new treatment option for advanced melanoma

An ongoing Providence Cancer Center study combining two immunotherapy treatments has achieved a 77 percent disease-control rate in patients with advanced melanoma. Preliminary results of the MITCI study have been so positive that the clinical trial has been expanded to allow up to 70 patients to enroll. Principal investigator Brendan Curti, M.D., co-director of the Providence Cancer Center Melanoma Program, presented the early results at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on April 4.

Included in the trial were several patients who had been treated previously with immune checkpoint inhibitors and had become resistant to the approach. The combination treatment appeared to overcome that resistance, pointing toward an encouraging new option for difficult-to-treat patients. 

Patients in the study receive both an investigational, proprietary formulation of CVA21 (CAVATAK), an immunotherapy based on a common cold virus, and ipilimumab (Yervoy), an FDA-approved immunotherapy. 

Of 22 patients evaluated to date:

  • 4 have had a complete response
  • 7 have had a partial response
  • 6 have stable disease

In addition, the study group had fewer side effects with the combination treatment than generally associated with ipilimumab alone, with no dose-limiting toxicities reported.

Enrollment in the expanded study is ongoing. To refer patients, call Providence Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials office at 503-215-2614 or visit

View trial information here.
Read the OncLive article about this study.

This featured study is one of 12 melanoma studies currently open at Providence Cancer Center. To see all open melanoma studies, click here.

To see all Providence studies in all cancer types, click here.

Leaders in melanoma research and treatment

Providence Cancer Center has been an international leader in melanoma research and treatment for more than 20 years. Some highlights of our program and contributions:

  • Dr. Curti and Providence Cancer Center research director Walter Urba, M.D., Ph.D., led the international study leading to FDA approval of ipilimumab (Yervoy), the first immunotherapy to show a survival benefit in advanced melanoma. 
  • Providence also participated in clinical trials leading to FDA approval of the PD-1/PD-L1-blocking antibodies pembrolizumab and nivolumab (Keytruda and Opdivo), which offer improved response and survival benefits as second- or third-line therapies for patients with metastatic melanoma. 
  • Providence is one of the top five high-dose Interleukin-2 centers in the country and is an innovator in the use of IL-2 in conjunction with high-dose per fraction radiation. 
  • Providence is one of the few melanoma centers offering tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy in combination with IL-2. 

Learn more about the Providence Cancer Center Melanoma Program.