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Jason J. Luke, MD, FACP, discusses the toxicities with targeted therapy vs immunotherapy and management strategies for patients with melanoma.
Jason J. Luke, MD, FACP, director, Cancer Immunotherapeutics Center, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, associate professor of medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, discusses the toxicities with targeted therapy vs immunotherapy and management strategies for patients with melanoma.
It is important to understand the difference in toxicity between targeted therapies and immunotherapies, according to Luke. Immune-related adverse effects (AEs) can include rash, colitis, or pneumonitis, and toxicities associated with BRAF and MEK inhibition tend to include various degrees of rash, pyrexia syndrome, fever, chills, and gastrointestinal issues, Luke explains.
Some patients treated with immunotherapy experience serious toxicities, whereas those treated with targeted therapy tend to experience a higher incidence of grade 3 or higher AEs, Luke adds. However, the clinical significance of grade 3 effects reported with targeted therapy may be less than what is reported with immunotherapy, Luke adds. Chronic toxicities can be experienced with either treatment strategy. As such, it is critical to educate patients on what to expect, as well as potential modifications, Luke concludes.