Review Article

Harnessing the Immune System in the Treatment of Melanoma

Suzanne McGettigan, MSN, CRNP, AOCN®

Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Author’s disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Suzanne McGettigan, MSN, CRNP, AOCN®, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, 10th Floor South Pavilion, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104. E-mail: suzanne.mcgettigan@uphs.upenn.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2018;9(suppl 1):21–29 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2018.9.7.11 | © 2018 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Melanoma has long been considered an immunogenic cancer. Early treatment options for melanoma therapy focused on the use of cytokines as a means of stimulating the immune system; these agents were used as single agents or in combination with chemotherapy, although with limited results. Current immunotherapy options include oncolytic vaccine therapy and checkpoint inhibitors. The use of checkpoint inhibitors, including anti–CTLA-4, has transformed the management of this disease. Current research studies continue to investigate the use of checkpoint inhibitors earlier in melanoma therapy as single agents, in combination with other immunotherapy options, and other treatment modalities, as well as other methods of harnessing and directing the immune system. It is essential for advanced practitioners to be aware of these therapy options for patients.




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