Melanoma Survival Improved By Cancer-Killing Virus

Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey New Brunswick, Interview with:
Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The study clearly demonstrated that advanced melanoma patients achieved a significant improvement in both response rate and durable response rate with Talimogene laherparepvec, or T-VEC. T-VEC is the first oncolytic virus to show a clinical benefit in a randomized phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of cancer. Patients who received T-VEC also had an improved progress-free and overall survival with nearly 11% obtaining a complete response. T-VEC is an oncolytic virus that mediates anti-tumor activity by directly killing injected tumor cells and by initiating a systemic immune response. Treatment was also associated with few side effects, which were mostly low grade fever, fatigue, chills, nausea and pain at the injection site.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: T-VEC is important because it provides physicians and melanoma patients with another effective treatment for melanoma. While we have seen several new drugs in the last four years approved for melanoma, many patients either do but respond or can relapse after treatment. Thus, the anticipated approval of T-VEC will be an important advance in bringing new effective options with limited toxicity to patients. Future studies will extend trials of T-VEC to patients with other types of cancer and in combination trials that are already underway and showing promise in melanoma.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: The real benefit of T-VEC is that it provides melanoma patients with another treatment option that had the potential to induce a complete response, with limited adverse effects and can be easily administered in the clinic and allow patients to maintain their quality of life.


Talimogene Laherparepvec Improves Durable Response Rate in Patients With Advanced Melanoma

Robert H.I. Andtbacka, Howard L. Kaufman, Frances Collichio, Thomas Amatruda, Neil Senzer, Jason Chesney, Keith A. Delman, Lynn E. Spitler, Igor Puzanov, Sanjiv S. Agarwala, Mohammed Milhem, Lee Cranmer, Brendan Curti, Karl Lewis, Merrick Ross, Troy Guthrie, Gerald P. Linette, Gregory A. Daniels, Kevin Harrington, Mark R. Middleton, Wilson H. Miller Jr, Jonathan S. Zager, Yining Ye, Bin Yao, Ai Li, Susan Doleman, Ari VanderWalde, Jennifer Gansert, and Robert Coffin

JCO JCO.2014.58.3377; published online on May 26, 2015;

[wysija_form id=”3″] Interview with: Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS (2015). Melanoma Survival Improved By Cancer-Killing VirusĀ