The Changing Landscape of Immunotherapies for the Treatment of Melanoma

January 18, 2014
Harriet Kluger, MD

Harriet Kluger, MD, associate professor of medicine (medical oncology), associate director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, Yale Cancer Center, comments on the changing landscape of immunotherapies for the treatment of melanoma.

Clinical Pearls

Harriet Kluger, MD, associate professor of medicine (medical oncology), associate director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, Yale Cancer Center, comments on the changing landscape of immunotherapies for the treatment of melanoma.

  • A few years ago, the only immunotherapies approved for the treatment of melanoma were cytokines: interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon
  • IL-2 prolongs survival in small subset of patients and interferon has never demonstrated a benefit to survival
  • Ipilimumab, approved in 2011, has demonstrated activity in a fair number of patients
  • Only 15% of patients treated with ipilimumab achieve an objective response, though an additional subset can see survival benefit
  • Inhibitors of PD-1 could be added to ipilimumab for additional benefit