Dr. Andtbacka Discusses the Role of T-VEC in Melanoma

Robert Andtbacka, MD

Robert Andtbacka, MD, associate professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine, discusses the role of talimogene laherparapvec (T-VEC; Imlygic) in the treatment of patients with melanoma.

T-VEC is a herpes simplex virus that has been simplified, and has been used quite extensively in patients with metastatic melanoma, says Andtbacka. The OPTiM study led to the 2015 FDA approval of T-VEC for the local treatment of unresectable cutaneous, subcutaneous, and nodal lesions in patients with melanoma recurrent after initial surgery. In this study, T-VEC showed durable response rates and high overall response rates in patients with unresectable stage IIIb, IIIc, and IVM1a melanoma. Andtbacka says that T-VEC is particularly beneficial for patients with regional metastases who do not yet have distant metastases.

Additionally, T-VEC has the ability to reduce the risk of distant disease for many of these patients. In an ongoing neoadjuvant study of patients with melanoma with resectable disease, T-VEC is being administered for 12 weeks before surgery. This will be compared with upfront surgery, and data are expected in late 2018.
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