Dr. Howard L. Kaufman on Impact of T-VEC FDA Approval

Howard L. Kaufman, MD

Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS, Chief Surgical Officer, Associate Director for Clinical Science, Surgical Oncologist, Rutgers Cancer Institute, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) President, discusses the impact of the recent FDA approval of talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) for the treatment of melanoma lesions in the skin and lymph nodes.

T-VEC, a genetically modified live oncolytic herpes virus therapy, was approved in melanoma in late October 2015. As a first-in-class agent, T-VEC opens the doors for other oncolytic virus therapies, says Kaufman, who served as an investigator on the pivotal phase III OPTiM study, which led to the drug’s approval. Future research should be focused on better understanding the mechanism of action of T-VEC and how the drug can best be utilized, says Kaufman.

T-VEC should also be investigated in combination with other agents, says Kaufman. Other manipulations of the virus used in T-VEC and other viruses may also have potential.
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