Oncolytic Virus Plus Ipilimumab Improves Responses in Advanced Melanoma

Source: Cancer Network, June 2018

The combination of an oncolytic virus known as talimogene laherparepvec with ipilimumab yielded a significantly higher response rate than ipilimumab alone in a phase II study of patients with advanced melanoma. This was the first randomized trial to test such a combination.

Talimogene laherparepvec is a genetically modified herpes simplex virus type 1; it expresses the immunostimulatory cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. “Talimogene laherparepvec and ipilimumab enhance T-cell activation through different mechanisms,” wrote study authors led by Jason Chesney, MD, PhD, of the J. Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. “Talimogene laherparepvec is designed to increase tumor-specific immune activation by improving antigen presentation and T-cell priming, whereas CTLA-4 blockade with ipilimumab promotes T-cell expansion.”