Immunotherapy for Metastatic Melanoma
ASCO is well known to be more of a solid tumor meeting and it lived up to its reputation.
The big buzz is that now oncologists are using a new class of immune therapies that takes the brakes off the immune system so that it can aggressively attack the cancer.
Harnessing the immune system has long been an elusive goal in cancer therapy.
Until recently the best durable response rate in advanced melanoma was about 5% with a very difficult interleukin 2 protocol that made patients feel just awful.
Now it is over 70% and quite durable with simple combination of two separate immune therapy. And with a manageable side effect profile.
Moreover, the breakthrough PD- L1 antibody drugs discussed may have potential in a broad range of cancers, including blood cancers. It is important that those of us with CLL follow the developments in other tumor therapy so that we can be aware of any possible application or parallel research for our particular malignancy.
Exciting and hopeful times for those of us with cancer.
I am grateful to Andrew Schorr and the dedicated professional team at Patient Power for providing the support to do these fun interviews with these pioneering doctors. Please check out Patient Power over the next few weeks for more interviews from ASCO 2013.
Here's a link to Patient Power for the the first part of this same interview on the tremendous parallel progress in targeted therapy for advanced melanoma with a specific mutation that until recently had been well known as a fast working assassin for most victims.
Logical and complementary drug combinations.
This is the future not just for the treatment of melanoma, but for all of oncology.
Soon I will be posting my interviews with several CLL experts done in partnership with Patient Power.