Next chapter in fighting deadly cancer using own immune system previewed at major oncology meeting
OAKVILLE, ON, June 3, 2013 /CNW/ - The Melanoma Network of Canada is pleased that progress is continuing to be made in melanoma research and with the exciting new results that were presented at this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. One of the hot topics at this year's ASCO meeting was immunotherapies which harness the immune system to fight cancer. Among the highly promising immunotherapy data presented, is research from a phase 1 trial of Yervoy together with an experimental treatment called nivolumab.
The study showed that combining the treatments works very well to shrink tumours in patients with advanced melanoma. Included in the study were patients with inoperable stage III and IV tumours who had received up to three treatments that had stopped working. The treatments used in the study each target a different pathway but both stimulate the immune system to fight the cancer. Results show highly encouraging responses with the treatment combination, even in patients who didn't previously respond to Yervoy on its own. Side effects were manageable in this trial, according to the data presented, and the preliminary data suggest that combining the treatments may benefit advanced melanoma patients even more than either treatment alone.
"Melanoma therapy has seen dramatic changes recently with the approvals of Yervoy and Zelboraf which were game changers in the way this deadly cancer is treated," said Annette Cyr, Chair of the Melanoma Network of Canada. "New research developments like what we are seeing with the combination of Yervoy and nivolumab, show that the way advanced melanoma is being treated continues to evolve in the right direction with patients at the heart of it."
Other clinical studies presented at ASCO including data for Roche and Merck's investigational treatments for advanced melanoma show that research in this field is not only promising but will continue to evolve.
Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing cancers worldwide, and can affect anyone regardless of sex, age or race. It is one of the most frequently-diagnosed cancers in Canada, affecting more than 6000 people in 2013 and resulting in 1050 deaths. The incidence of melanoma has been increasing steadily for the past 30 years, and this increase is now second only to the rise in liver cancer.
About the Melanoma Network of Canada (MNC)
Melanoma Network of Canada (MNC) is a patient-led organization dedicated to the prevention and elimination of melanoma. Established in 2009 the MNC works in collaboration with medical professionals, health care agencies and other stakeholders to educate, advocate and fund for early diagnosis and effective treatment of melanoma, education, prevention and awareness programs, relevant and innovative research, support for patients and an improved quality of life for those living with melanoma.
SOURCE: Melanoma Network of Canada
For further information:
Annette Cyr, Chair
Melanoma Network of Canada