immune checkpoint inhibitor

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    The Latest in Melanoma Treatment: A Guest Perspective

    With: Ryan Sullivan, MD

    What’s new in melanoma treatment? Our chief scientist Emma Shtivelman, PhD, recently outlined the latest options. Here, our Curious Dr. George invites a response from Ryan Sullivan, MD, Associate Director of the Melanoma Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Curious Dr. George: As a melanoma expert, what are your thoughts on the treatments outlined in our… Read 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 blog post from the National Cancer Institute reports that two clinical trials are showing encouraging results for progression-free survival—and one for overall survival—from treatment with immunotherapy drugs in people with advanced esophageal cancer. 

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  •   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:

    “Instructing the immune system to recognize and kill tumours, an approach termed cancer immunotherapy, has transformed the clinical treatment of certain types of malignancy. Prominent among these therapies are immune-checkpoint inhibitors, which block the action of proteins that dampen immune-cell responses against tumours. For example, antibodies can be used to interfere with the inhibitory protein PD-1, which is present on T cells, a type of immune cell that attacks tumours. Immune-checkpoint inhibitors have been most successfully used to treat cancers, such as melanomas, that are well infiltrated by T cells and have a large number of genetic mutationsA subset of these mutations might generate neoantigens — altered protein sequences that are uniquely produced in cancer cells and are recognized as foreign by the immune system.”

    Go to full article published by Nature on Dec 19, 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.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    Individuals with an inherited form of skin cancer often have a poor prognosis. The type of immunotherapy that was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is, however, particularly effective in this patient group, research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows. The study is published in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

    “Congenital mutations of the CDKN2A gene are the strongest known risk factors for inherited . Individuals with  who carry mutations in this gene also have , according to previous research.”

    Go to full article published by Medical Xpress on Oct 8, 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.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from Medscape:

    “Combined immunotherapy with two checkpoint inhibitors — nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) and ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb) — has shown ‘clinically meaningful’ efficacy in patients with asymptomatic, untreated melanoma metastases to the brain, according to a report regarding new data from the CheckMate 204 open-label phase 2 study.

    ” ‘Although current practice is to start with surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, or both followed by immunotherapy or targeted agents, our results support the initiation of immunotherapy to achieve prompt control of both extracranial and brain metastases,’ write the authors.”

    Go to full article published by Medscape on Aug 22, 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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    Practice-Changing Developments in Treatment of Metastatic NSCLC

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs that target the proteins PD-1 and PD-L1 are by now well established in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo), an anti-PD-1 drug, for treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC who progressed or relapsed after platinum-based chemotherapy. Atezolizumab (Tecentriq), an anti-PD-L1 drug, was approved in 2016 for… Read more »

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    Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Melanoma: New Directions

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    The drugs pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 and 2015, respectively. These two competing blockbuster drugs are already changing the outlook in metastatic melanoma, previously considered to be a fatal disease. Known as ‘immune checkpoint inhibitors,’ they work by releasing ‘brakes’ on a patient’s own immune system, freeing it to attack tumors. In the wake of their success, researchers are now taking immune checkpoint inhibition in new directions.