WCCS/EADO 2016 | The current status of chemotherapy for treating melanoma
Paul Lorigan, MB, BCH, BAO, BA, FRCP of the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, discusses key points from his talk on chemotherapy in melanoma, presented at the 2016 World Congress of Cancers of the Skin (WCCS) and the Congress of the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) in Vienna, Austria. He first highlights that there has been very little progress in advancing melanoma chemotherapy treatment over the past twenty years. In his talk, Prof. Lorigan suggested that there were three pillars to treatment for advanced melanoma: targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. However, he explains that for the vast majority of patients, chemotherapy plays a very little role. He discusses sub-groups of melanoma patients (i.e. mucosal melanoma, eye melanoma or uveal melanoma) who do not do well through the means of conventional treatments. Further, for patients with uveal melanoma, who do not benefit from immunotherapy, the recent SUMIT study (NCT01974752) showed that there was no benefit from chemotherapy. For mucosal melanoma, data suggests that there may be a temporary benefit from therapy for a sub-group of patients. He believes that a lot more work needs to be done in this area and more attention needs to be devoted to the conventional mechanisms, increasing the amount of molecular profiling done on patients, allowing for researchers to follow sequentially in order to identify patients who may respond to chemotherapy. Finally, Prof. Lorigan highlights that in his talk, he elaborated further on the identification of patients who may or may not respond to chemotherapy.
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