Melanoma is a unique type of skin cancer that originates from cells known as melanocytes. The main function of these cells is to produce a substance called melanin, which gives your skin, eyes, and hair their color.
In this article, we will cover a new combination of drugs that could potentially help thousands of patients with melanoma.
What is the UV1 cancer vaccine?
Ultimovacs’s UV1 is a peptide-based vaccine that induces an immune response against the universal cancer antigen Telomerase. In other words, this vaccine allows your immune cells to recognize and attack the tumor.
What is Pembrolizumab [Keytruda]?
The estimated primary results will be available in the fall of 2023.
The uses of Keytruda vary depending on where you’re located in the world. For instance, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of this drug for any unresectable or metastatic solid tumor with certain genetic anomalies.
The results of phase I clinical trial (NCT03538314)
As you may know, the purpose of phase I clinical trial is to assess the safety and tolerability of the medication – both of which were met in this study.
A second study that included 10 patients with inoperable or metastatic melanoma showed that 6 patients experienced significant tumor shrinkage. Out of these patients, 30% had a complete remission. In other words, the tumor was undetectable.
Note that the study is still ongoing to monitor the patients for the 2-year follow-up. The results are expected to be ready in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The criteria to include patients in this study were as follow:
- Age – patients had to be above the age of 18
- Advanced case of melanoma – only stages 3B, 3C, or 4
- No previous treatment for melanoma
- Eligibility to receive Keytruda
- Normal kidney and liver function
The combination of UV1 with pembrolizumab seems to produce promising results for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma.
We hope that the upcoming clinical trials would reveal more positive results, which could save thousands of lives every year.
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