In melanoma, radiosurgery may combine well with immunotherapy, especially PD-1 inhibitors
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IMAGE: Tyler Robin, M.D., Ph.D. and colleagues show that immunotherapies may combine well with radiosurgery against melanoma with brain metastases, and that anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies may work better than anti-CTLA4 therapies in… view more 

Credit: University of Colorado Cancer Center

Doctors often treat melanoma with drugs that unblind the immune system to cancer. And brain metastases associated with melanoma are often treated with precisely targeted radiation known as radiosurgery. Now a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology shows a potential advantage of combining these two techniques: Of 38 melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy and radiosurgery between 2012 and 2017, median overall survival was not reached, meaning that so many of these patients (who historically have had very poor prognosis) were still alive when data was analyzed that it was impossible to predict how long a patient treated in this way would be expected to live. Importantly, the study also shows a significant difference in cancer control depending on the type of immunotherapy used. In melanoma, brain metastases are a major cause of mortality. Patients treated with anti-CTLA4 immunotherapies saw the development of new brain metastases at median 3.1 months, whereas the median was not

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