NEW MELANOMA DRUG
NOW THEREíS HOPE FOR PEOPLE WITH MELANOMA THAT HAS SPREAD, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Ipilumimab is the chemical name for a new drug to treat melanoma that has spread throughout the body. Itís name tells us itís one of that class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies, which are all developed very specifically to target cellular receptors. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains how it works.
NELSON: What it does is it seeks out cells from the immune system and keeps them from being tolerized by the cancer. Tolerized means rendered inactive, pacified in many ways so they donít respond to the cancer and try and kill it. By seeking out those cells and reversing that state these cells are then brought into play and can attack the cancer, kill cancer cells, and the results of the clinical trial are quite spectacular. About 20% of folks had a very significant benefit, theyíre alive two years with metastatic melanoma, thatís melanoma that has spread and is advancing throughout the body. :36
At Johns Hopkins, Iím Elizabeth Tracey.