Matching tumour size to strength of immune response allows melanoma drug tailoring

Source: eCancer News, April 2017

Despite the success of immunotherapies based on blocking the programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) receptor protein in metastatic melanoma patients, more than half do not experience a lasting benefit by seeing their tumours shrink.

One possible reason the drug doesn’t work well for all patients is that these PD-1 blocking drugs lack a biological effect in many patients.

However, new studies now indicate that 80 percent of these patients do, in fact, have an increase in the number of responding T cells to these types of treatments.

The PD-1-targeting antibody pembrolizumab is a checkpoint inhibitor drug that takes the brake off the PD-1 receptor to allow T cells to replicate and react more strongly to cancer cells.

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