Dr. Atkins on the Benefits of Neoadjuvant Therapy in Melanoma

Michael B. Atkins, MD, discusses the benefits of neoadjuvant therapy in melanoma.

Michael B. Atkins, MD, deputy director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Scholl Professor and vice chair of the Department of Medical Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center, discusses the benefits of neoadjuvant therapy in melanoma.

 Utilizing neoadjuvant therapy in melanoma could lead to tumor shrinkage, which could decrease surgical morbidity, ​explains Atkins. In addition, as suggested in the ​phase 2 PRADO study, neoadjuvant therapy could potentially decrease the need for surgery altogether, Atkins says.

Furthermore, if a radiologic response is equivalent to what may be a pathologic complete response, marker nodes may not have to be removed. Finally, ​neoadjuvant therapy could cause increased activation of immune cells in the lymph nodes​. As such, there ​may be a greater chance ​of micrometastasis destruction ​with neoadjuvant vs adjuvant therapy, Atkins concludes.​