Melanoma has historically been one of the most therapeutically challenging malignancies, and until recently there have been few treatment options. With the advent of immunotherapy, we are now within what some refer to as “a renaissance in melanoma therapeutics.” What is immunotherapy and why does it work so well to fight melanoma?
Immunotherapy can be described as using the body’s own immune system to find and destroy cancer cells and/or to prevent cancer cells from growing. Immunotherapy drugs, like IL-2 and Ipilimumab, are particularly effective in the treatment of melanoma because melanoma is a highly immunogenic tumor, meaning that it is highly receptive to immunotherapy. Listen as Nikhil Khushalani, MD, formerly of RPCI, discusses the hope that immunotherapy can bring to melanoma patients, even those with metastatic disease.