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Novel Checkpoints Offer Hope After Standard Melanoma Immunotherapies Fail

Laura Panjwani
Published: Monday, Feb 29, 2016

Omid Hamid, MD

Omid Hamid, MD

Determining the next step for a patient with melanoma who has failed or is not a candidate for existing targeted therapies or immunotherapies can be a challenge.

, Hamid discusses promising agents and combinations that offer hope to patients with melanoma for whom standard checkpoint agents and/or targeted therapies are not an option.

OncLive: What new agents are available that are showing great potential?

Hamid: There are newer checkpoint agents such as GITR, OX40, and 4-1BB. These new checkpoint inhibitors are showing response after failure with traditional checkpoints. Adaptive T-cell therapeutics, which used to be considered “boutique drugs,”—meaning they were difficult for physicians to find—are now transitioning into normal centers like ours, thanks to collaborations. Antibody-drug conjugates have a role in melanoma, as well. These are phase II options, and some of them will be in phase III soon.

What should a community oncologist know about these newer agents?

They need to have an understanding of the approved drugs and combinations, the toxicities of these agents, and how to mitigate those toxicities so patients can get back on therapy and get the proper dose intensity. These agents are going to go through clinical trials and will be in their clinics soon.

There are newer toxicities out there, and physicians need to keep up with the literature in order to understand these and how to treat them.

Is there potential for these newer agents to be used in combination with existing ones?

Absolutely. Some of these new drugs will be great companion agents. As a single agent, we may see a low response rate; however, in combination, we may see improved response rates because the agents are synergistic.
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