NEW YORK — Michael A. Postow, MD, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discussed new immunotherapy targets for advanced melanoma beyond standard targets at HemOnc Today Melanoma and Cutaneous Malignancies.
CTLA-4 and PD-1 are the current standard targets for the treatment of advanced melanoma. New targets include T-cell agonists — OX40 and CD137 — which are undergoing clinical evaluation and could present potential options for the treatment of melanoma.
Phase 1 results after treatment with OX40 showed tumor regressions without formal RECIST partial responses, including two patients who had mixed responses.
There are also blocking antibodies that help reduce immunosuppressive elements within the tumor microenvironment. For instance, a phase 3 trial investigating epacadostat (Incyte) — which blocks IDO — plus pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) is ongoing to try to improve the outcomes with pembrolizumab.
“We had some general comments about how we can move the field forward more quickly in stunting our combination treatments and trying to help patients with metastatic melanoma do better than ever before,” Postow said.
Disclosures: Postow reports advisory roles with Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis; honoraria from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck; and research support from Bristol-Myers Squibb.