The landscape for melanoma treatments is rapidly changing. From even 3 years ago when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 disease, there was really only one treatment FDA approved for Stage 4. A year later, there were 2 more treatments approved (Yervoy and Zelboraf), and now another two are soon to be approved.
"The new findings in immunotherapy for advanced melanoma were presented at this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. While the results are encouraging, the studies are still in early stages.
Researchers from cancer centers around the world tested an anti-PD-1 drug calle Lambrolizumab in 135 patients with advanced melanoma. In more than a third of the patients, 38%, the melanoma shrank significantly in response to the drug and in many others the disease stopped growing. On average, it took longer than 7 months for the cancer to get worse in patients taking Lambrolizumab.
Also at the ASCO meeting, researchers presented longer-term data about another anti-PD-1 drug: Nivolumab. It was tested in 107 people with advanced melanoma. The new results showed that overall, about one-third of patients responded to treatment with the drug. This confirms earlier results of the study that began about a year ago."
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This is so exciting and so hopeful! I know that even if we don't find a "cure" to this disease, we are finding better methods to manage it, and not only that methods that are less toxic to the body. Let's hope we continue on this trend. I have a feeling it will!