This study is one of several steps in a long process to develop immunotherapy approaches for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, said Dr. Rosenberg in a phone interview. “We have studied immunotherapy for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, and we have reported on cell transfer therapies that represent the most effective treatment for metastatic melanoma.”
Genetically engineered gene therapy may offer promise for refractory cases, he said. “If otolaryngologists have patients with metastatic melanoma, and it’s refractory to standard treatments, we may have something for them,” he said. “The ongoing clinical trials are continuing to show the promise reflected in the recently published trial. If a physician has patients with refractory metastatic melanoma, he or she should consider referring such patients for one of these newer cell transfer therapies.”
An Important First Step
Two gene therapy experts who were not involved in the study stressed that the findings are exciting despite the fact that only two patients had responded at the time of publication.