Learn about the latest treatments for metastatic melanoma. We’ve got it covered, from new FDA approvals to emerging approaches in immunotherapy, targeted therapy, cancer vaccines, drug combinations, antibody-drug conjugates, and more.

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    What’s New in Melanoma Treatment in 2021?

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    I last wrote about melanoma treatment more than 2 years ago, a fairly long time in the evolution of treatments for this type of cancer. Just as a refresher, the current mainstays of drugs to treat melanoma fall into two categories: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), antibody drugs that bind to proteins found on the immune system’s T cells—namely, PD-1 (which is targeted by the… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    A story from Immuno-Oncology News covers new results from a phase 1 clinical trial that indicate promising safety and early efficacy of a treatment that combines the drug Keytruda and an experimental cancer vaccine for people with advanced melanoma.

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  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Overview from Medscape curated by Contributing Editor George Lundberg, MD, who notes:

    The dramatic array of treatment options now available for this serious disease is nicely summarized in this review. (Free registration required, written with a physician audience in mind.)

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Cancer Commons has been exceptional. My family and I could not be happier with the attention and passion that this organization has shown towards us. Thank you for being so responsive and reassuring us that there is so much hope.

Larry Simmons
Pancreatic cancer patient

Molecular tests help match patients to the personalized treatments that are most likely to work for them. Keep up with new developments in genetic tests, blood tests, liquid biopsies, tumor mutations, other biomarkers, precision medicine, and next-generation sequencing.

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    Metastatic Melanoma: Not Quite Curable…But Getting There

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    By 2050, the number of deaths due to malignant melanoma in the U.S. could be three times lower than peak levels reached before 1960. Researchers presented the data behind this prediction at the 2017 European Cancer Congress in January. It is unclear how much of this anticipated decline in deaths can be attributed to the availability of new, effective treatments. However, it is obvious… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from OncLive curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    A new study shows that the drug pembrolizomab significantly prolongs survival in patients with metastatic melanoma, regardless of whether their tumors have mutations in the BRAF gene or if they’ve had prior treatment with targeted therapy.

    Go to full article published by OncLive.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    Testing for Tumor Mutations: Liquid Biopsy Versus Traditional Biopsy

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Update as of August 27, 2020: A lot has changed in the three-and-a-half years since this blog post was written. Liquid biopsies are by now widely recognized and used as a valuable diagnostic and monitoring tool. Many of the reservations and concerns described in the original post below have been addressed and largely resolved by refining the technology. The latest proof of this is… Read more »

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Some of the most promising new treatments for metastatic melanoma are currently being tested in patients enrolled in clinical trials. We help you stay up to date on the latest results from these studies.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Research highlight from Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    In a clinical trial for metastatic melanoma patients, a combination of the drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab (both “immune checkpoint inhibitors,” or ICIs) outperformed nivolumab on its own, and nivolumab on its own outperformed a placebo.

    Go to full research highlight published by Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from MedPage Today:

    “Combination neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade therapy yielded promising outcomes in high-risk resectable melanoma, although toxicity was an issue, according to a phase II trial.

    “The combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) led to improved progression-free survival (PFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS) versus neoadjuvant nivolumab monotherapy in 23 patients with high-risk resectable melanoma, reported Jennifer A. Wargo, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues in Nature Medicine.”

    Go to full article published by MedPage Today on Oct 11, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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This free-of-charge, high-quality information service is a wonderful resource for patients with advanced cancer.

Hope S. Rugo, MD
UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer affects many aspects of life, whether you’re newly diagnosed, in the midst of treatment, or in follow-up care. Learn about ways to maintain quality of life, such as palliative care and managing side effects.

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    Pediatric Palliative Care: A Specialty Comes of Age

    Sarah Friebert, MD

    For a child with cancer, palliative care can provide much-needed relief from stress and symptoms—for the patient and their family alike. Palliative care is given alongside cancer treatment, and is not synonymous with “end-of-life” care. In fact, anyone with a serious illness can benefit from palliative care, no matter their long-term outlook. Because of its importance for children with cancer, we are honored to… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from Medscape curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Depression is, for obvious reasons, common in patients with advanced cancer. The old, inexpensive drug ketamine—already approved for medical use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—seems rapidly effective, according to small studies.

    Go to full article published by Medscape.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    Emphasizing Oncogeriatrics

    With: Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD

    A Q&A with Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD, Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom, and Chair of the Young Interest Group of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG); nicolo.battisti@gmail.com Q: Everyone knows that the practice of pediatric oncology is very different from adult oncology. How does the growing field of oncogeriatrics differ from usual adult oncology? A:… Read more »

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You’re not alone. Read how other patients and caregivers navigated diagnosis, treatment, and life with cancer. We hope their stories provide insights and hope for your own cancer journey.

More patient stories

Learn more about what’s new in advanced cancer research and treatment, including screening and statistics, using artificial intelligence to improve treatment, and other new horizons in cancer care.

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    Rankings of Most Common and Deadly Cancer Types Will Shift Over Next Two Decades

    In the next two decades, rankings of incidence and death across cancer types will undergo important changes in the U.S., according to new research led by Lola Rahib, PhD, Director of Scientific and Clinical Affairs at Cancer Commons, as well as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Published today in JAMA Network Open,… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    This piece from ASCO Connection outlines the need for and a path to improvement in cancer care for LGBTQIA patients.

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    Can Really Big Data Inform Precise Decisions for Individual Patients?

    With: Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA

    New technologies are transforming cancer research. By optimizing research protocols and leveraging data more efficiently and intelligently, these tools hold the promise to improve personalized cancer care. Here, our Curious Dr. George asks Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA, VP of Informatics at TriNetX, LLC, about the capabilities of his company’s platform. Curious Dr. George: Translational medicine has evolved to include personalized medicine and… Read more »

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The coronavirus pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to cancer patients. We can help you understand how COVID-19 might impact your treatment and other aspects of your cancer care.