Dr. Kluger on Immunotherapy in Melanoma
Harriet Kluger, MD, associate professor of medicine (medical oncology), associate director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, Yale Cancer Center, discusses the effectiveness of immunotherapy as treatments for patients with melanoma.
A few years ago, the only two immune therapies that were approved for melanoma were interleukin-2 and interferon, Kluger says. Interferon has never been proven to prolong survival and interleukin-2 only prolongs survival in a small subset of patients.
About two years ago, Kluger says, ipilimumab was approved and is active in a majority of patients. Currently, there is a trial looking at the efficacy of adding a PD-1 inhibitor to ipilimumab. Kluger thinks that these two immune therapies may even be able to be used sequentially.
Kluger predicts that in the future, the first-, second-, and third-line therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma will be an immune-targeted therapy.