Challenges in immunotherapy
• Immunotherapy has yet to fulfil its clinical potential.
• Historically, responses have only been observed in a minority of patients.
• Recent trials of new immunotherapies in oncology have shown that patients receiving treatments such as anti-CTLA-4 therapy respond differently, and sometimes later, compared with those receiving chemotherapy or some of the existing immunotherapies such as interleukin-2 and interferon.
Some of the investigational immunotherapies act as T-cell mediated immunopotentiators. That is, they may regulate and potentially enhance the body’s own immune response, and consequently there may be a delay in stimulating the immune system to fight disease.
"Another patient’s measured tumor burden in 7 pulmonary metastases is shown as a percent of their baseline size. Tumor remained stable during 4 doses of ipilimumab administered without symptoms, but regressed promptly after patient experienced a bout of biopsy documented enteritis." Yang et al
en•ter•i•tis ( n t -r t s). n. Inflammation of the intestinal tract.
Inflammation is the "Danger Signal" that is needed to hone in on the cancer itself.
Currently it is difficult to select patients who might benefit from specific immunotherapeutic approaches, and tailored immunotherapy regimens will have to be created in order to provide the most appropriate and effective treatment. Each Patient is at a different stage of his or her disease. It will take a trained Melanoma Oncologist to provide the guidance.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”