New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
June 2, 2013
Promising new treatment for advanced melanoma

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ‘03-‘08) of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues, reported the success of a new combination therapy for advanced metastatic melanoma. The therapy combines two drugs (Yervoy and nivolumab) to block “checkpoint” pathways, thus stimulating T cells in the immune system to attack cancers. In a Phase I clinical trial, the combination was demonstrated to be more effective than either drug administered alone. 65% of patients in the study showed halted disease progression, and 40% experienced tumor reduction. The researchers hope that this therapy might be effective for patients with other advanced cancers, like non-small cell lung cancer and renal cancer. The results were reported at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual meeting and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.