A New Mechanism Of Immune Regulation That Limits The Efficacy Of Immunotherapy
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About The Author

I am a medical oncologist who specializes in caring for people with melanoma. As a researcher, I am working to develop innovative ways to use the immune system to treat cancer. I have been at the forefront of cancer immunotherapy as a clinician-scientist and as a principal investigator of several pivotal clinical trials.

One of these was a large phase III trial that led to the FDA approval of ipilimumab (Yervoy®), an antibody now used as a first-line treatment for people with advanced melanoma. Ipilimumab was the first drug ever shown to improve survival in these patients. It has fundamentally changed this disease’s outcome — people who were once given a matter of months are living years longer in some cases. A number of patients I treated with ipilimumab in 2004 are still alive and free of cancer today. As a physician, nothing is more gratifying than being able to give someone his or her life back after cancer.

                       

A New Mechanism Of Immune Regulation That Limits The Efficacy Of Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy with checkpoint blockade has revolutionized cancer treatment in the last decade. With the initial FDA approval of CTLA-4 blockade with ipilimumab in 2011 followed by the first FDA approval of PD-1 blockade with pembrolizumab in 2014, these drugs have been incorporated into the standard treatment armamentarium of many different types of cancer. These antibody therapeutics, which release the CTLA-4 and PD-1 molecular brakes on immune cells so that they can more potently respond to cancer, have shown long-lasting clinical...

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