Dr. Suzanne L. Topalian, Dr. William H. Sharfman, Dr. Evan J. Lipson, Dr. Janis M. Taube, Dr. Drew M. Pardoll and colleagues describe overall survival, durable tumor regressions and long-term safety of nivolumab (anti-PD-1) in 107 patients with advanced melanoma. Nivolumab was well-tolerated, anti-tumor responses were durable and persisted after drug discontinuation, and overall survival rates compared favorably with those in previously published studies of similar patient populations.
Dr. Evan J. Lipson, Dr. William H. Sharfman and colleagues are the first to describe the successful administration of ipilimumab (Yervoy) to two kidney transplantation patients with metastatic melanoma.
An article in The Washington Post titled, "New Therapies Raise Hope for a Breakthrough in Tackling Cancer," goes in depth discussing immunotherapies for melanoma.
Latest PD1 Research featured in December's Issue of Nature
"Releasing the breaks - Tumors can put a brake on the immune system, but new therapies work by removing these brakes."
Read the latest cancer immunotherapy research by Suzanne Topalian, in the latest issue of Nature and Science.
Read the New York Times article titled, "Breaking through Cancer's Sheild", which examines studies at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center that are using our bodies own immune system to fight and attack cancer cells.
ASCO Interviews Dr. Suzanne Topalian on Anti-PD1
Dr. Suzanne Topalian talks to ecancer at the ASCO 2013 Annual Meeting about anti-PD1 results of a phase 1 study. This study looked at nivolumab to inhibit the immune checkpoint, PD1. The study reported substantial response in lung cancer and melanoma.
Dr. Suzanne Topalian discusses immune-based cancer therapies including anti-PD-1 in Tearing Down Cancer’s Walls (Johns Hopkins Health). See page 5.
Read about the multidisciplinary teamwork behind the Johns Hopkins Melanoma Program in A Platform for Elevating Melanoma Clinical Research, from the Johns Hopkins Cutting Edge newsletter.
Cancer Therapy That Boosts Immune System Ready For Wider Testing
Two clinical trials led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers in collaboration with other medical centers, testing experimental drugs aimed at restoring the immune system’s ability to spot and attack cancer, have shown promising early results in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and kidney cancer. More than 500 patients were treated in the studies of two drugs that target the same immune-suppressive pathway, and the investigators say there is enough evidence to support wider testing in larger groups of patients. The investigators say the treatment is safe, shrinks some tumors and a marker they identified may predict response.Read more.
Johns Hopkins and Yale scientists have found that melanoma cells use a cloaking protein to hide from immune cells poised to attack the cancer. The work was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Read more.
More Good News on Melanoma Drug
New studies on the FDA-approved drug vemurafenib show more progress in treating melanoma. Melanoma specialist Evan Lipson, M.D. comments on the study in the Cancer Matters blog.
Melanoma Drug Among Top Trends in Cancer Research
Melanoma specialist Evan Lipson, M.D., cited the approval of the immune-based drug ipilumumab (Yervoy) as a major milestone in cancer treatment, not just for melanoma, but for cancer treatment in general, he says. There is likely much more to come from researchers seeking ways to use a patient's own immune system to attack cancer. Listen to Lipson's podcast on the Cancer Matters blog discussing this topic.
A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study of young people with melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, has found that some children have a higher risk of invasive disease than adults. The work was published in the journal Cancer. Read more.
Tanning Beds and Melanoma Risk
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Director William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., weighs in on the increase in risk of melanomain people who use tanning beds. Listen to the podcast
Dr. Ginette Hinds discusses acral lentiginous melanoma, the most common form of melanoma in ethnic groups including African Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics — groups conditioned to feel at very low risk for skin cancers --- in Johns Hopkins Medicine magazine’s “Skin Cancer’s Secret Life.” Read more.
Johns Hopkins Melanoma Program in the New York Times
An article by Roger Martin, a patient with metastatic melanoma treated successfully at Johns Hopkins, appeared in the New York Times on January 4th. In this article, Mr. Martin writes about his care at Johns Hopkins and his experiences with this disease. His physician, Dr. William Sharfman, is the Clinical Co-Director for Oncology in the Hopkins Melanoma Program. For more information, read more.
Melanoma Expert Charles Balch Edits New Textbook
The fifth edition of the authoritative textbook Cutaneous Melanoma, edited by Dr. Charles Balch with other field experts, is now in print. Cutaneous Melanoma is a comprehensive treatise covering the epidemiology, prognosis, prevention, treatment, and biology of this disease. It serves as a reference for clinicians and scientific investigators worldwide. In addition to Dr. Balch, other contributors from the Hopkins Melanoma Program include Drs. Lieping Chen, Julie Lange, Lisa Jacobs, Joseph Califano, Nanette Liegeois, Richard Wahl, Anthony Tufaro, and Suzanne Topalian.
Dr. Charles Balch discusses his co-authored book Cancer Guide: A Treatment and Facilities Guide for Patients and Their Families in the Johns Hopkins newsletter Dome. Read more.