(HealthDay News) — For patients with high-risk resected melanoma, adjuvant pembrolizumab improves quality of life (QOL) when compared with standard of care with ipilimumab or high-dose interferon α 2b (HDI), according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.

Researchers compared QOL in patients with resected melanoma at high risk for relapse who were treated with adjuvant pembrolizumab or standard care. A total of 832 patients from the S1404 phase 3 trial were included and were evaluable for the primary QOL endpoint at cycle 3.

The adjusted Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Biological Response Modifiers (FACT-BRM) trial outcome index (TOI) score at cycle 3 was 9.6 points higher for pembrolizumab than for ipilimumab or HDI (P <.001).

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FACT-BRM TOI scores favored the pembrolizumab arm over ipilimumab (difference, 6.0 points; P <.001) or HDI (difference, 17.0 points; P <.001)

“Physicians should be encouraged to incorporate and discuss treatment-related QOL issues with patients when making shared decisions regarding the risks and benefits of adjuvant therapy in resected melanoma,” the study authors wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, which manufactures pembrolizumab and partially funded the study.

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