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 Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>