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Dr. Joseph on Necessary Improvements on Immunotherapy in Melanoma

Richard Joseph, MD
Published: Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015



Richard W. Joseph, MD, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses some improvements needed in the field of immunotherapy as a treatment for melanoma.

While immunotherapy agents have provided researchers with great success in melanoma, Joseph says there is still room for improvement. More research is needed to better identify patients that are most likely to benefit from these agents while lowering toxicities.

In order to better identify patients, Joseph says researchers are examining tumor biopsies, blood samples, and DNA mutations in order to find biomarkers. Even a negative biomarker may eventually be a marker for oncologists to administer a more effective, though likely more toxic, regimen, Joseph says.

There is also debate on whether patients with low-risk disease are more likely to benefit from a single agent with a high response rate and low toxicity, compared to a combination therapy, which may have a greater or equally high response rate and high toxicity.



Richard W. Joseph, MD, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses some improvements needed in the field of immunotherapy as a treatment for melanoma.

While immunotherapy agents have provided researchers with great success in melanoma, Joseph says there is still room for improvement. More research is needed to better identify patients that are most likely to benefit from these agents while lowering toxicities.

In order to better identify patients, Joseph says researchers are examining tumor biopsies, blood samples, and DNA mutations in order to find biomarkers. Even a negative biomarker may eventually be a marker for oncologists to administer a more effective, though likely more toxic, regimen, Joseph says.

There is also debate on whether patients with low-risk disease are more likely to benefit from a single agent with a high response rate and low toxicity, compared to a combination therapy, which may have a greater or equally high response rate and high toxicity.




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