Dr. Daud Discusses the Immunogenicity of Melanoma

Adil Daud, MD
Published: Friday, May 17, 2019



Adil Daud, MD, clinical professor, Department of Medicine, director, Melanoma Clinical Research, University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the immunogenicity of melanoma.

Melanoma stands out compared with other solid tumors in terms of its immunogenicity, Daud says. For years, patients with melanoma were treated with interleukin-2 and interferon alpha when other tumors typically weren’t responsive to those types of immunotherapies. Part of the reason is because melanoma appears to trigger the immune system in a way that other solid tumors do not. Melanoma has also led the way as far as testing novel anti–CTLA-4 and anti–PD-1 immunotherapies.

Ipilimumab (Yervoy) was the first checkpoint inhibitor approved in melanoma, and melanoma still stands as the only disease in which it is approved as a single agent. Ipilimumab plus nivolumab (Opdivo) is now starting to make headway in other tumor types like kidney and lung cancer.

Daud notes that even today, not all patients with melanoma are responding to immunotherapy, and if they do, the responses aren’t always durable. Many patients derive transient responses that will eventually progress, so there is still a lot of room for improvement.
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Adil Daud, MD, clinical professor, Department of Medicine, director, Melanoma Clinical Research, University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the immunogenicity of melanoma.

Melanoma stands out compared with other solid tumors in terms of its immunogenicity, Daud says. For years, patients with melanoma were treated with interleukin-2 and interferon alpha when other tumors typically weren’t responsive to those types of immunotherapies. Part of the reason is because melanoma appears to trigger the immune system in a way that other solid tumors do not. Melanoma has also led the way as far as testing novel anti–CTLA-4 and anti–PD-1 immunotherapies.

Ipilimumab (Yervoy) was the first checkpoint inhibitor approved in melanoma, and melanoma still stands as the only disease in which it is approved as a single agent. Ipilimumab plus nivolumab (Opdivo) is now starting to make headway in other tumor types like kidney and lung cancer.

Daud notes that even today, not all patients with melanoma are responding to immunotherapy, and if they do, the responses aren’t always durable. Many patients derive transient responses that will eventually progress, so there is still a lot of room for improvement.



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