Dr. Luke on Ongoing Studies With Immunotherapy in Melanoma

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Jason J. Luke, MD, an assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, discusses ongoing studies exploring immunotherapy for the treatment of patients with melanoma.

Jason J. Luke, MD, an assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, discusses ongoing studies exploring immunotherapy for the treatment of patients with melanoma.

Despite the various FDA approvals of immunotherapy agents in the field, Luke says experts still do not understand them that well, in terms of what sequence to use them in and at what dose to administer them. There are emerging phase II data looking at sequencing immunotherapies, as well as data exploring a higher dose of ipilimumab (Yervoy) in these patients.

Additionally, clinical trials are exploring combinations of the targeted agents cobimetinib (Cotellic), dabrafenib (Tafinlar), trametinib (Mekinist), and vemurafenib (Zelboraf), with PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies in phase III trials. These appear to be exciting, he adds. Moreover, researchers are continuing to study the biology of immunotherapy and determining optimal combination partners that may even be more effective for patients. These could potentially include IDO inhibitors.

Furthermore, combinations with the PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors plus talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC; Imlygic) are also being studied in clinical trials, Luke says.

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