HACKENSACK, N.J. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Ninety-eight thousand Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year, and 7,000 will die from it. New treatments, like immunotherapy and targeted therapies increase a patient’s chances of survival. Now, in a brand-new study, researchers say the order doctors deliver these cutting-edge treatments makes a difference. DreamSeq
For years, people spent hours in the sun, trying to get a healthy glow. These days, we know that exposure to UV rays can be a risk factor for cancer.
“Up until not that long ago, metastatic melanoma was a uniformly fatal disease. If you had it, you usually died of it within a few years,” Hackensack University Medical Center oncologist, Andrew Pecora, MD explains.
Now, doctors can treat metastatic melanoma two ways: with immunotherapy – using a person’s immune system to fight cancer – or for patients with a specific gene mutation called the BRAF mutation – targeted therapy. Doctors have been prescribing either to patients with the gene mutation. The DREAMSeq trial proved the order, or sequence of the treatment matters.
Dr. Pecora says, “Patients who received immunotherapy first had a significantly better survival than patients who received targeted therapy first.”
Dr. Pecora also says the sequence of treatment – with immunotherapy first – should become the standard of care, which will result in more people being a live for five years or more. If immunotherapy doesn’t work, doctors should then follow with targeted therapy.
Dr. Pecora says about 50 percent of metastatic melanoma patients have the BRAF gene, so this finding will have big implications for a lot of patients.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
To receive a free weekly e-mail on medical breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk
Dr. Andrew Pecora
TOPIC: DREAMSeq: “DREAM-ING” UP A NEW TREATMENT FOR MELANOMA
REPORT: MB #5187
BACKGROUND: Metastatic melanoma is a challenging disease to treat and is associated with a poor prognosis, making it a priority area for research. Metastatic melanoma is a type of skin cancer that occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing skin pigment, begin to grow uncontrollably. This uncontrolled growth can result in the formation of malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. When melanoma spreads, it is referred to as metastatic melanoma. This typically occurs during stage three or four. An estimated 97,610 people in the United Sates will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2023.
DIAGNOSING: Diagnosing metastatic melanoma can be an intricate process that typically involves many different tests and procedures. If a primary tumor is suspected, then a biopsy may be ordered. During this, a small piece of skin is removed that may contain a small piece of suspected cancer. Additional tests are required to determine whether the melanoma is metastatic. In addition to a biopsy, other tests may also be used to diagnose and stage metastatic melanoma. These tests can include imaging studies, such as CT scans, MRI scans, and PET scans, which can help to identify the location and size of any tumors and assess whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: The DREAMSeq trial is a clinical study aimed at improving the treatment of metastatic melanoma, a type of skin cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. This trial is significant because metastatic melanoma can be difficult to treat and has a high mortality rate. The DREAMSeq trial is designed to test the effectiveness of a new treatment approach for metastatic melanoma. The trial uses a personalized medicine approach, where the patient’s own cells are analyzed to identify specific genetic mutations. The DREAMSeq trial is being conducted at multiple medical centers around the world and is being led by a team of experts in the field of melanoma research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:
If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at email@example.com