Protein mapping pinpoints why metastatic melanoma patients do not respond to immunotherapy

Source: EurekAlert!, October 2019

Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center researchers say they have discovered why more than half of patients with metastatic melanoma do not respond to immunotherapy cancer treatments.

Wielding proteomics, an innovative “protein mapping” approach, a team of researchers led by Prof. Tami Geiger, Prof. Gal Markel, and Dr. Michal Harel of TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine and Sheba’s Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology have answered the burning question: Why do immunotherapy treatments greatly help some patients with melanoma but not affect 60 percent of metastatic melanoma patients?

The researchers, whose findings were published on September 5 in Cell, compared the responses of 116 melanoma patients to immunotherapy — one group in which immunotherapy was successful and a second in which immunotherapy was not successful. Harnessing proteomics, a powerful protein mapping technology, they discovered differences in the metabolism, or energy production process, of the cancer cells of the two groups.

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