Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Jefferson Researcher’s Results Show Promise for Metastatic Eye Melanoma

18.05.2005


Boosting the immune system, cutting off tumor oxygen supply, may be keys to patients living longer



When melanoma of the eye spreads to the liver, patients have few good options. Surgery is frequently impossible, and chemotherapy hasn’t proven effective. But now, by simultaneously revving up the immune system and choking off the tumor’s oxygen supply, oncologists at Jefferson Medical College and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia may have found a better way to battle this deadly cancer.

Researchers, led by Takami Sato, M.D., K. Hasumi Associate Professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, have shown promising results from an early, phase 1-2 clinical trial of a novel treatment for uveal melanoma that has spread to the liver.


In the procedure, called immunoembolization, Dr. Sato and his co-workers “embolize,” or block off the hepatic artery, which is a major artery feeding the liver, cutting off oxygen to liver tumors. They infuse a chemical called GM-CSF, which stimulates the immune system – specifically, cells called macrophages and dendritic cells – to produce an inflammatory reaction, and it’s hoped, fight the cancer.

In the trial, which was aimed at testing for treatment toxicity and feasibility, Dr. Sato found that 30 percent of 39 patients studied (34 of whom had uveal melanoma) had tumor shrinkage and another 30 percent had tumors that didn’t grow.

He presents his team’s findings May 17, 2005 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando.

“We have seen a surprising phenomenon,” he says. “Compared to chemoembolization (a similar, older therapy that entails giving a patient chemotherapy directly into the liver), our patients did just as well and some did better. The treatment is doing something to prolong survival.

“If we’re right,” Dr. Sato says, “we could delay metastases.”

Dr. Sato also found a response in other tumors in the body besides the liver – a potentially important finding, he says. Patients in the study lived on average about twice as long compared to those who received chemoembolization in an earlier study he and his team conducted.

Dr. Sato heads one of the few programs in the nation treating metastatic uveal melanoma, which is a melanoma originating in the eye and the most common adult eye tumor. It is very rare, affecting perhaps 6 or 7 individuals per 1 million. When it spreads to the liver, patients who do not receive treatment live on average about 6 months. The treatment Dr. Sato is testing is used for patients who are not eligible for surgery.

While the trial results show the two-pronged treatment is safe and feasible – as well as providing promising responses to metastases, Dr. Sato reaffirms the need for a larger phase 2 study, which has already opened for patients with uveal melanoma metastatic to the liver. The phase 2 trial compares immunoembolization to embolization, or cutting off the tumor’s oxygen supply. The trial is funded by an R21 grant for nearly $600,000 over two years that he recently received from the National Cancer Institute.

In the new trial, he will also monitor the immune system reaction, looking for an increase in numbers of specific immune cells. He plans to biopsy patient livers, he notes, because “If the GM-CSF is working, an inflammatory response should be seen in the liver tumor.”

The next step in the future, he says, would be to conduct a phase 3 multicenter trial comparing chemoembolization and immunoembolization. He notes that the immunoembolization procedure may be useful in treating primary liver cancer or other types of cancer that have spread to the liver as well.

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jefferson.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>