Older melanoma patients may respond to anti-PD1 immunotherapy better than younger patients
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Bottom Line: With each decade of life, the likelihood of progression of melanoma after treatment with anti-PD1 immunotherapy decreased by 13 percent.

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Author: Ashani T. Weeraratna, PhD, the Ira Brind professor and co-program leader of the Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program at The Wistar Institute; and a member of Wistar’s Melanoma Research Center in Philadelphia

Background: “We wanted to study how the aging microenvironment affects response to immunotherapy, and much to our surprise, the effect was exactly the opposite of what we learned with targeted therapy,” said Weeraratna. Prior research by Weeraratna and colleagues had shown that the tumor microenvironment in older patients promoted melanoma metastasis and resistance to targeted therapy with a BRAF inhibitor.

How the Study Was Conducted and Results: In this multinational study, the researchers analyzed data from 538 patients with melanoma treated with the anti-PD1 therapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) at eight different institutes worldwide. Of the patients, 238 were younger than 62 years. They found that 50 percent of patients younger than 62 years, compared with only 37 percent of patients 62 years or older, had poor

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