Dr. Weber on Unmet Needs in Melanoma

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, discusses unmet needs in melanoma.

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, ​deputy director and co-director of the melanoma program, Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Professor of Oncology, Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, 2016 Giant of Cancer Care® in Melanoma, discusses unmet needs in melanoma.

Patients ​with melanoma who have been surgically resected and rendered free of disease, but are still at high risk for relapse, represent a major unmet need in the space​, says Weber. The definition of high risk varies; however, it typically is defined by patients who have a​t least a 50% risk of relapse ​over 5 years. Moreover, given the modest toxicities observed with BRAF/MEK regimens, high risk could also be defined as anyone who has a 25% ​or greater risk of relapse over 5 year​s, Weber explains.

Additionally, patients with stage IIIC and IIID melanoma tend to have poor prognosis and represent a challenging population to treat, Weber says. Historically, seeking an optimal ​adjuvant therapy for these patients has been ​an area in need of additional research. Currently, treatment options include PD-1 inhibitors, such as nivolumab (Opdivo) or pembrolizumab (Keytruda), or BRAF/MEK inhibitors, such as dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist), Weber concludes.