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Advances in Treating Melanoma: Closing Thoughts

Panelists: Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, NYU Langone Health; Reinhard G. Dummer, MD, University Hospital of Zurich; Axel Hauschild, MD, PhD, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein; Michael A. Postow, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, Gustave-Roussy
Published Online: Monday, Nov 13, 2017



Transcript: 

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: I think it has been a wonderful and spirited discussion. It has been very informative. But before we end this outstanding discussion, I’d like some closing thoughts from each of you. Reinhard?

Reinhard G. Dummer, MD: I think it’s a privilege to work in the melanoma field, and, in my opinion, melanoma is pioneering immunotherapy and targeted therapy. The other thing is that it’s great to work with you, together. I think we are a strong research community with a lot of friendships around, and this is really exciting.

Axel Hauschild, MD, PhD: I’d like to echo Reinhard’s nice words, and it’s the truth, what he was saying. I just want to say that ESMO, for me, is achieving a stronger role compared to earlier years, because very many of the pivotal trials are presented here and not at ASCO in our day. So, it’s not only the ASCO conference that counts. There’s an equivalent here in Europe, which makes us happy, because the travel load is less complex. This is also contributing to the melanoma field. I think the melanoma abstracts being evaluated here are very interesting, and we are moving forward. It’s fine-tuning now. I don’t expect to see any drug making it as a single agent to the market within the next 2 to 3 years. It’s the combinations. It’s a question of sequencing the right drugs in the right manner, and biomarker testing is still a big issue.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: Yes. And Caroline?

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD: Yes, I totally agree. I think it’s a pleasure to work with this international net of people. We’ve known each other for a long time, and although we have a problem, the only problem is that we cannot keep the same slides from one month to the other. But it’s a good problem, because therapy is changing so quickly that we have to work again and again on our slides.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: Before we finish up though, I’ll say one interesting little factoid. Melanoma is the only sub-field of oncology where there’s a server, and we, with Grant McArthur’s help, voluntarily pool our slides together so everybody knows everybody’s data.

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD: We always share our slides. It’s very good, yes.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: It’s a very good sharing group. Michael, any words of wisdom?

Michael A. Postow, MD: In addition to the collaborations all of the investigators have together, I think it’s important just to acknowledge the patients’ role in all of this, all of our patients
with melanoma who have been really courageous and going on a lot of these trials. This is the reason we can have this conversation. This is the reason we know what we know about all of our drugs right now. And as happy as we’ve been with all of our advances, until we get to 100%, there’s more to be done.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: Great. Thank you all for your contributions to this discussion. On behalf of our panel, we thank you for joining us, and we hope that you found this Peer Exchange® discussion to be useful and informative.

Transcript Edited for Clarity 

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Transcript: 

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: I think it has been a wonderful and spirited discussion. It has been very informative. But before we end this outstanding discussion, I’d like some closing thoughts from each of you. Reinhard?

Reinhard G. Dummer, MD: I think it’s a privilege to work in the melanoma field, and, in my opinion, melanoma is pioneering immunotherapy and targeted therapy. The other thing is that it’s great to work with you, together. I think we are a strong research community with a lot of friendships around, and this is really exciting.

Axel Hauschild, MD, PhD: I’d like to echo Reinhard’s nice words, and it’s the truth, what he was saying. I just want to say that ESMO, for me, is achieving a stronger role compared to earlier years, because very many of the pivotal trials are presented here and not at ASCO in our day. So, it’s not only the ASCO conference that counts. There’s an equivalent here in Europe, which makes us happy, because the travel load is less complex. This is also contributing to the melanoma field. I think the melanoma abstracts being evaluated here are very interesting, and we are moving forward. It’s fine-tuning now. I don’t expect to see any drug making it as a single agent to the market within the next 2 to 3 years. It’s the combinations. It’s a question of sequencing the right drugs in the right manner, and biomarker testing is still a big issue.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: Yes. And Caroline?

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD: Yes, I totally agree. I think it’s a pleasure to work with this international net of people. We’ve known each other for a long time, and although we have a problem, the only problem is that we cannot keep the same slides from one month to the other. But it’s a good problem, because therapy is changing so quickly that we have to work again and again on our slides.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: Before we finish up though, I’ll say one interesting little factoid. Melanoma is the only sub-field of oncology where there’s a server, and we, with Grant McArthur’s help, voluntarily pool our slides together so everybody knows everybody’s data.

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD: We always share our slides. It’s very good, yes.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: It’s a very good sharing group. Michael, any words of wisdom?

Michael A. Postow, MD: In addition to the collaborations all of the investigators have together, I think it’s important just to acknowledge the patients’ role in all of this, all of our patients
with melanoma who have been really courageous and going on a lot of these trials. This is the reason we can have this conversation. This is the reason we know what we know about all of our drugs right now. And as happy as we’ve been with all of our advances, until we get to 100%, there’s more to be done.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD: Great. Thank you all for your contributions to this discussion. On behalf of our panel, we thank you for joining us, and we hope that you found this Peer Exchange® discussion to be useful and informative.

Transcript Edited for Clarity 
View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Clinical Vignette Series: 34th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium: Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow®Feb 28, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections™: 13th Annual International Symposium on Melanoma and Other Cutaneous Malignancies®Apr 28, 20182.0
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