In a nutshell
This study analysed a treatment for late-stage melanoma called talimogene laherparepvec (TVEC). It found that treating late-stage melanoma with TVEC was effective, and had only minor side effects.
Talimogene laherparepvec (TVEC) (Imlygic) is a treatment used for late-stage melanoma which is unable to be operated on. TVEC is a virus which has the ability to kill cancer cells, while not killing the surrounding healthy cells. It is not known how well this treatment works, and what side effects it might have.
Methods & findings
There were 27 patients in this trial. Many of the patients had received treatment with other medications previously. On average, each patient received five injections of TVEC, directly into melanoma tumors. They were followed for an average of 9 months. 23 of these patients were analysed fully.
It was found that of the 23 patients fully analysed, ten of them (44%) responded completely to the treatment. This meant that after treatment, there were no traces of cancer remaining in the body. Three patients (13%) responded partially to the treatment, and five (22%) did not respond to the treatment, but their disease did not get worse. Side effects included tiredness, muscle aches, and fever. Two patients developed a small infection at the area of injection.
The bottom line
The study concluded that using TVEC as a treatment for late-stage inoperable melanoma is an effective and safe treatment.
The fine print
This is a very small study. More analysis will need to be performed to ensure the safety of this treatment.
Discuss with your doctor if TVEC might be the right option for you.
Published By :
Annals of Surgical Oncology
Oct 08, 2018