Exploring TIL Therapy for Recurrent Melanoma Treatment


Jose Lutzky, MD, discusses the innovative tumor-inflitrating lymphocyte therapy for the treatment of relapsed or refractory melanoma.

TIL (tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte) therapy is a promising new approach for treating advanced melanoma. It leverages the power of a patient's own immune system to combat cancer cells.

Doctors first surgically remove a tumor and extract immune cells that have infiltrated the tumor. These TILs are then grown in a lab in large numbers. After undergoing a preconditioning regimen to prepare their immune system, the patient receives an infusion of these enhanced TILs back into their body. The reinfused TILs can recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively.

TIL therapy is still under investigation, but early results are encouraging. It has shown effectiveness in some patients with advanced melanoma who haven't responded well to other treatments. Lifileucel (Amtagvi) is the first FDA-approved TIL therapy for melanoma. Here, Jose Lutzky, MD, a skin cancer physician at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the treatment .


0:05 | Right nw, that treatment is focusing on this group of patients who are either refractory or resistant, and we try a bunch of other things. We try oncolytic therapy, we try different drugs, different ways to try to restore sensitivity to checkpoint inhibitors. TIL therapy, TIL stands for tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, it's a form of cell therapy, which is giving immune cells infusing immune cells into patients hoping that there are enough of those immune cells there are going to attack certain proteins or antigens in the tumors.

0:42 | And this is not new at all. The concept has been around for 30 years. And in fact, the first TIL therapy for melanoma was in I believe, 2005. Dr. Rosenberg, they had been studying that for a long time and had a bunch of models that suggested that that might work. And it did work in, you know, a good number of patients. The problem is that the process was very complex, and that there were only a few centers in the country that could do that. It took a long time. And many, many instances, by the time that they were able to have the cells ready for a patient, the patient was no longer around.

1:25 | So more recently, a number of companies, particularly the one that got the approval, decided that they wanted to make this available to more people and confirm the results that the NIH had years ago. And they created a facility to produce these cells in the US and 1 in Europe and had a number of cancer centers that had interest and expertise in cell therapy put together you know, this trial, and eventually the trial show that for patients that were refractory and resistant to checkpoint inhibitors and endorsed patients that have a BRAF mutation that can be treated with BRAF inhibitors and MEK inhibitors that those patients have failed those treatments. So that group of patients ended up with about a 30% response rate. So the interesting thing and important thing about this also is that these responses were durable. So once you respond, those responses can last; the median time has not been reached yet. But those patients that respond has been responding for over 3 years now.

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