Dr. Zarour on Unmet Needs in Melanoma

Hassane M. Zarour, MD
Published: Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018



Hassane M. Zarour, MD, professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh, discusses unmet needs in melanoma.

Despite the recent advances in immunotherapy improving outcomes for patients with melanoma, there are still many unmet needs, Zarour says. PD-1 inhibitors have been a game changer, with 30% to 40% of patients responding to this treatment. But, this still means that about two-thirds of patients don’t respond to immunotherapy. The combination of a PD-1 inhibitor and CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody has shown promise, but researchers don’t yet know how durable these responses will be. It is necessary to get a better understanding of what impedes T-cell response in the tumor microenvironment. Ongoing studies are looking at this, Zarour says.

There is the potential to manipulate the gut microbiome to improve immune response, Zarour adds. This has opened the door to probiotics and diet intervention. Researchers have already designed a trial testing the efficacy of this concept.
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Hassane M. Zarour, MD, professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh, discusses unmet needs in melanoma.

Despite the recent advances in immunotherapy improving outcomes for patients with melanoma, there are still many unmet needs, Zarour says. PD-1 inhibitors have been a game changer, with 30% to 40% of patients responding to this treatment. But, this still means that about two-thirds of patients don’t respond to immunotherapy. The combination of a PD-1 inhibitor and CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody has shown promise, but researchers don’t yet know how durable these responses will be. It is necessary to get a better understanding of what impedes T-cell response in the tumor microenvironment. Ongoing studies are looking at this, Zarour says.

There is the potential to manipulate the gut microbiome to improve immune response, Zarour adds. This has opened the door to probiotics and diet intervention. Researchers have already designed a trial testing the efficacy of this concept.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Medical Crossfire®: Evolving Roles for Targeted Melanoma Therapies: Assessing Rapid Progress in the Field and Looking Toward Future CombinationsFeb 28, 20191.5
Advances in™ Melanoma: Exploring BRAF/MEK in Adjuvant and Neoadjuvant SettingsSep 28, 20191.5
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