NEW MELANOMA DRUG
A NOVEL APPROACH TO TREATING MELANOMA HELPS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Stimulating the immune system to remain activated helps in the treatment of melanoma, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes how this new drug works.
NELSON: The drug is an antibody type medicine that interferes with the tendency of the immune system to turn itself off after it’s activated. The notion is if you get the flu or something you want the immune system to rev up, kick the flu virus out of your body, and then afterwards turn back off. Cancers have become very diabolical at figuring out how to tell the immune system to turn itself off when they’re around so they can grow and prosper. What this antibody type drug does is it keeps the immune system from turning itself off, it lets the immune system go chase down the melanoma, kill it and get rid of it. :33
Nelson says this drug proves the concept is valid and heralds the way for new agents of this type. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.