November 2014, Part 4
Immunotherapy: Early Success in Melanoma Provides Hope for Success in Other CancersLetter to Our Readers
Immunotherapy is a term we have heard for years, if not decades, but the fruits of researchers’ labor have just recently begun to be realized, most notably in the field of melanoma. As a result, so many of us associate immunotherapy with melanoma. True, we have seen great advances in, and many headlines about, the use of immunotherapy in improving the survival of our patients with this notoriously dismal disease. However, our successes in employing immunotherapeutic strategies are not limited to melanoma. Immunotherapies are being studied in many disease states, and researchers believe there is great potential in enhancing the body’s ability to identify and destroy malignant cells. The science behind the therapy is fascinating and makes this era a truly exciting time to be on the front lines of patient care.
In this issue of Immunotherapy in Oncology (ITO), we interview one of the great minds in immunotherapy, Dr James Allison of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr Allison is the chair of the Department of Immunology and the Moon Shots Program. He provides an insightful look at the basic biology of immune system T cells and the rationale behind empowering the immune system to fight a variety of cancers.
We also provide the most recently presented research from the World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress and the European Society for Medical Oncology. As you will read, researchers are pressing forward to find immunotherapeutic options in many cancers.
It is our hope that ITO is of benefit to you and enhances your ability to provide the best care for your patients.
Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD
ITO Editor in Chief
Malignant Melanoma Interferon remains the adjuvant therapy of choice in patients at high risk for recurrence of malignant melanoma, said Reinhard Dummer, MD. A systematic review favored high-dose interferon versus observation on relapse-free survival but not overall survival (OS) in patients with high-risk resected primary melanoma. Recently, however, relapse-free survival [ Read More ]
Immunotherapy and the Moon Shots Program:
An Interview with Dr James Allison of MD Anderson Cancer Center
Harnessing the power of the immune system to combat cancer is not a new idea; however, the new generation of immunotherapeutic agents have captured the imagination of those in the oncology community and sparked a renewed interest in the potential capabilities of an empowered immune system. As a result, immunotherapy [ Read More ]