Uveal melanoma study announced

Source: Pharma Times, April 2019

New therapeutic approaches for treating patients with earlier-stage melanoma who face a higher risk of recurrence are among the features of recently updated consensus guidelines from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).1The guidelines take stock of the extensive changes that have occurred in the field in less than a decade, with the goal of helping to stratify patients, choose optimal treatment regimens, and manage adverse events (AEs) in patients with stage II to IV disease.

The FDA has approved 11 drugs or combinations in the past decade for use in patients with melanoma, and the field has changed dramatically since 2013, when SITC issued its first iteration of immunotherapy guidelines for treating patients with melanoma. Howard L. Kaufman, MD, chief medical officer at Replimune and corresponding author for the SITC Cancer Immunotherapy Guideline– Cutaneous Melanoma Subcommittee, said the development of all these new options is great for patients—the drawback is that the field is racing to create treatment guidelines before clinical trial data are available.

“Each patient has to be individualized to some degree. I don’t think there’s a one-sizefits- all that we can apply to patients. I recently wrote an editorial that coined the term ‘precision immunology,’ similar to precision medicine, where if you understand the genetics of the cancer, you might be able to design the appropriate targeted therapy,” Kaufman, who is a surgeon in the Department of Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in an interview. “Similarly, if we really understood the immunology completely—if we were able to really identify appropriate biomarkers— we might be able to craft a drug regimen or treatment plan for patients that [is] unique to that individual patient, addressing the specific issues in that patient.”

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