In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out how well a new cancer treatment called T-VEC works in patients with melanoma that cannot be surgically removed. The study found that this treatment is very effective in patients with melanoma that cannot be surgically removed.
T-VEC is short for talimogene laherparepvec. This is a new type of treatment for cancer. T-VEC is a modified virus. It is called an oncolytic virus. When injected into a tumor, it will split the cancer cells open and kill them. It is made to only kill cancer cells and not human cells. It is a highly experimental treatment. It is not known how well this treatment works in patients with melanoma that cannot be surgically removed.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 26 patients. All of the patients had stage 3 melanoma that was not able to be surgically removed. All of the patients had cancer that had spread. All of the patients had tumors injected with T-VEC, and measured to see how they responded to the treatment. The patients were followed for 12.5 months on average.
The outcome that was reported was the best response seen in each patient. Overall, 16 patients had a tumor that completely responded to treatment. This means that there was no disease detectable at that site. 7 of patients had a partial response in at least one of the tumors. This means that the tumor shrunk. 1 patient had stable disease, where the tumor did not grow or shrink. 2 patients did not respond to treatment, and the disease progressed. Side effects were seen in all of the patients, however these were mild. Side-effects included mild flu-like illness, and redness at the site of injection.
The bottom line
The study concluded that T-VEC therapy for melanoma that cannot be surgically removed may be a safe and effective option for treatment.
The fine print
This was a very small study. As this is an experimental drug, more studies are being done to test safety and how well it works.
Keep an eye out for more information on this new treatment.
Published By :
International Journal of Cancer
Jan 29, 2019