Dr. Puzanov on T-VEC in Combination with Ipilimumab for Melanoma Treatment
Igor Puzanov, MD, medical oncologist, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, discusses the rationale behind a phase Ib study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of T-VEC and ipilimumab in previously untreated, unresected stage IIIB-IV melanoma.
Puzanov says researchers used T-VEC, an oncolytic virus, because of previous positive data. Researchers wondered if T-VEC could be combined with ipilimumab, a standard-of-care treatment for patients with stage IV melanoma.
T-VEC can unleash multiple antigens from the lysine tumor regardless of the tumor genotype. These antigens will then be presented to the dendritic cells, which are driven to the event from T-VEC, Puzanov says. These dendritic cells teach T cells to start killing the tumor locally and hopefully throughout the body. In order to augment a response throughout the body, Puzanov says, ipilimumab is used.
Although ipilimumab helps 25% of patients live longer and have long durable responses, sometimes these responses are slow. Adding T-VEC may help speed up the responses in a safe manner, Puzanov says.