ESMO E-Learning: New Treatments in Melanoma

Learning Objectives

  • To provide an update on novel immunotherapies and targeted agents available for the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma, including associated biomarkers
  • To provide an update on clinical results from recent randomised studies with immunotherapies and targeted agents in patients with advanced melanoma, including recommendation for a current therapeutic algorithm
  • To provide insights on the profile of side–effects from novel immunotherapies and targeted agents available for the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma, including clinical guidance for their management
Title Duration Content CME Points CME Test
New Treatments in Melanoma 68 min. 71 slides 1 Take Test
Paolo Ascierto
Paolo A. Ascierto
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After more than 40 years, the oncology community has been faced with the approval of a plethora of immunotherapies and targeted agents effective in the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. In particular, the checkpoint inhibitors ipilimumab, nivolumab, pembrolizumab and targeted agents vemurafenib, dabrafenib, trametenib and cobimetinib.

In this E-learning module, the author describes these two categories of novel drugs, emphasizing their different characteristics and kinetics of action.

The details of the different signalling pathways involved in advanced melanoma are presented, along with the mechanism of inhibition of anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies, as well as BRAF, MEK and NRAS inhibitors.

In recent clinical trials, both nivolumab and pembrolizumab have been shown to be superior to ipilimumab. However, the combination of ipilimumab/nivolumab is currently only in use in clinical trials. Randomized studies have also shown that the combination of BRAF plus MEK inhibitors is superior to monotherapy with BRAF inhibitors.

Considering the data coming from recent phase III trials, anti-PD-1 antibodies (nivolumab and pembrolizumab) should be used in first-line treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. However, in the case of patients with symptoms and rapid disease progression, the combination of BRAF plus MEK inhibitors represents a valid opportunity in the first-line setting.

In this E-learning module, besides emphasizing the optimal current therapeutic algorithm, the author also focuses on the importance of biomarkers. The toxicity profile of these novel agents is presented, and clinical guidance is given for the management of emerging side-effects.

This E-learning module is a perfect summary of the rapid progress seen in the treatment of advanced melanoma; the mechanism of action of novel immunotherapies and targeted agents; clinical outcomes from randomised clinical trials and achievements in the understanding of underlined mechanisms and management of related side-effects.

Last update: 09 December 2015

The author has reported a consultancy/advisory role with BMS, Roche-Genentech, MSD, Ventana, Novartis and Amgen and to have received research funds from BMS, Roche-Genentech and Ventana.