"Truly Remarkable" Progress Seen for Melanoma Therapies


June 3, 2013

Lynn Schuchter, MD, chief of the division of Hematology-Oncology in the Abramson Cancer Center, was quoted extensively in articles detailing results of new melanoma drug studies presented during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Findings revealed that giving metastatic melanoma patients drugs known as immune checkpoint blockers together or sequentially improves outcomes. The results seen in that approach and others detailed at the meeting "confirm that 'revving' up the immune system is a powerful approach in shrinking melanoma," Schuchter said. "Melanoma patients are living longer and better with these new treatments." She said the findings emphasize the importance of getting patients into clinical trials of new drugs. "Patients with melanoma getting access to these new agents is really the most critical part of care," she told reporters. James Riley, PhD, a research associate professor of Microbiology, is also quoted in articles detailing these new approaches, noting in an editorial accompanying the studies in the New England Journal of Medicine that "the results of these trials are striking and complementary."

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