Ipilimumab (Yervoy)

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General information

Class/mechanism: Anti-CTLA-4 antibody. CTLA-4 is a negative regulator of T-cell activation and ipilimumab interferes with the ability of CTLA-4 to interact with its ligands CD80/CD86. CTLA-4 blockade results in T-cell activation and proliferation, and it is suspected that its anti-neoplastic activity may be due to T-cell mediated anti-tumor immune responses.[1][2][3]
Route: IV
Extravasation: no information

For conciseness and simplicity, HemOnc.org currently will focus on treatment regimens and not list information such as: renal/hepatic dose adjustments, metabolism (including CYP450), excretion, monitoring parameters (although this will be considered for checklists), or manufacturer. Instead, for the most current information, please refer to your preferred pharmacopeias such as Micromedex, Lexicomp, UpToDate (courtesy of Lexicomp), or the prescribing information.[1]

Diseases for which it is used

Patient drug information

History of changes in FDA indication

Colorectal cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma

  • 3/10/2020: Approved in combination with nivolumab for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib. (New disease entity)


  • 3/25/2011: FDA approved for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma. (Initial approval)
  • 10/28/2015: FDA approved for adjuvant treatment of patients with cutaneous melanoma with pathologic involvement of regional lymph nodes of more than 1 mm who have undergone complete resection, including total lymphadenectomy. (Approval extended to adjuvant setting)

Non-small cell lung cancer

  • 5/15/2020: Approved in combination with nivolumab as first-line treatment for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors express PD-L1(≥1%), as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) genomic tumor aberrations. (New disease entity)

Renal cell carcinoma

Also known as

  • Code names: BMS-734016, MDX-010
  • Brand name: Yervoy