Medicinal Products Against The M Lanome

Medications for melanoma: immunotherapy treatments

Among new drugs, immunotherapy treatments are increasingly being prescribed for advanced stages of melanoma.

Thanks to the progress of basic research at the cellular level, drugs have been developed to act precisely on specific targets of our immune system in principle capable of recognizing foreign bodies and certain abnormalities, such as the presence of cancer cells.

The goal is to direct the patient's immunity against the tumor by acting on CTLA-4, PD-1 proteins. present on the surface of certain lymphocytes. These proteins tend to block the immune defense response of the body. So using anti-CTLA-4 or anti-PD-1 antibodies, we try to stimulate our immune system to act fully. Drugs have been developed to block the action of these PD-1, CTLA-4 proteins. The treatments developed are called pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), nivolumab (Opdivo®), and ipilimunab (Yervoy®) are administered by the venous route.

In 2015, it was shown that these drugs bring interesting results, showing that they have a certain effect to fight against melanoma is in an advanced stage. Studies have shown that the results are generally better when combining several immunotherapy drugs.

It should be noted that these drugs which give encouraging results in some patients (decrease in tumor size in more than 30% of patients, with a long-lasting clinical response), are at the origin of sometimes significant adverse effects (fatigue, colitis, thyroid disorders, hepatitis ...).

In the future, other immunotherapy drugs will still come out. And studies will be conducted to find the best therapeutic combination among all the treatments available today.

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