The purpose of this study is to determine the highest dose of the investigational drug BMS-986015 that can be given together with ipilimumab in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, or melanoma that persists despite standard therapy. Researchers hope that these two drugs given in combination may help the immune system kill cancer cells.
BMS-986015 attaches to and blocks KIR proteins, which are present mainly on immune system cells called natural killer cells and which control part of the immune system by shutting it down. It is hoped that by binding to and inactivating KIR proteins, BMS-986015 can activate natural killer cells to attack and kill tumor cells.
Ipilimumab is an antibody against CTLA-4, a molecule that controls a part of the immune system by shutting it down. Researchers believe that one way cancers can escape the immune system could be through this shut-down mechanism. An antibody against CTLA-4 could stop it from turning off the immune system, and allow an immune reaction to continue. This immune reaction may help the body to destroy cancer cells. Ipilimumab is approved for treating melanoma; its use in combination with BMS-986015 in this study is considered investigational.