Recent Developments in Immunotherapy for Melanoma

In season 2, episode 7 of Targeted Talks, Jeff Yorio, MD, and Douglas Johnson, MD, MSCI, talk about recent advances in immunotherapy for melanoma.

In season 2, episode 7 of Targeted Talks, Jeff Yorio, MD, a physician and hematology and medical oncology specialist with Texas Oncology-Austin Central and Douglas Johnson, MD, MSCI, an assistant professor of Medicine and Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, joins us for a talk around recent advances in immunotherapy for melanoma.

First, Yorio discusses how the use of immunotherapy in melanoma has changed in his own practice over the past 5 to 10 years, considering tha there were limited options for these patients in the beginning. For patients with stage IV melanoma or high-risk stage III melanoma, clinical trials were the only option. Chemotherapy was also an option but had very little activity.

According to Yorio, checkpoint inhibitors made a dramatic change in the melanoma landscape. There are even some patients who were enrolled in the initial checkpoint inhibitor trials who are still alive 6 years later.

Johnson has had a similar experience with melanoma immunotherapy in community practice. Compared with years ago when survival rates were low, data has now shown an over 50% survival rate for patients treated with the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy).