Treatment of advanced (stages III and IV), melanoma desperately needs good news. Although the incidence of melanoma increases by as much as 3 to 5% per year, the standard treatment of melanoma does not significantly increase survival in most patients. Clinical trials are the best hope for the elimination of metastatic melanoma: new combinations of drugs, new ways to manage them. The most promising is the following treatment of melanoma abroad:
- Allovectin-7 - this gene therapy is injected directly into the patient's tumor with stage III or IV melanoma, which uses the body's immune system to attack the tumor. Earlier tests of Allovectin showed that tumors in 4% to 9% of patients responded to therapy.
- Genasense is a unique inhibitor of bcl-2, a protein produced by cancer cells. By reducing the amount of Bcl-2 in cancer cells, Genasense improves the effectiveness of melanoma treatment. Studies have shown that Genasense in combination with chemotherapy significantly increases overall survival compared with chemotherapy.
- MVax is a melanoma vaccine prepared from the patient's own cancer cells. Several studies have shown that MVax can lead to a complete remission in up to 13% of patients, which is twice that of interleukin-2 alone. MVax is also effective in patients with stage III melanoma after surgery: it has doubled the 5-year survival rate as compared to surgical treatment alone.
- Ipilimumab is an antibody that activates the body's immune system to fight melanoma by inhibiting CTLA-4 molecules. The three previous phases of the II clinical trial showed that effective treatment of melanoma in Israel with Ipilimumab is an increase in survival from 47% to 51% for people with stage III or IV melanoma, which is almost twice the average.
- OncoVEXGM-CSF is a vaccine that works by distributing into a tumor and causing the death of cancer cells, stimulating the immune system and destroying metastatic tumors. The results of 50 patients with inoperable stage IIIc / IV melanoma showed that 28% of patients responded, including 12% achieved complete remission.
Those who participate in clinical trials get access to the latter methods of treatment, which are often absent in other countries. Treatment of melanoma in Israel may be better than the standard of medical care and the only hope for patients with a progressive disease. Simply put, participation in clinical trials in patients is the only promising method of therapy, innovative treatment of melanoma abroad.