New research from the University of California (UC) found that interleukin (IL) – 2 combined with imiquimod and topical retinoid therapy in patients with so -called “transit metastasis” is a promising therapeutics option. The findings have been published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology .
“Our results showed that the intralesional therapy with a protein that causes immune cells to divide, administered in combination with an immune activator topically applied, can be a highly effective treatment for these patients”, said Maverakis, associate professor dermatology.
Although intralesional IL-2 has recently been included in the guidelines of the US National Cancer Network Comprenhensive for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, according to the researchers, American doctors have not been adopted yet.
PRESENT AND FUTURE OF TREATMENT
About ten percent of patients with advanced melanoma development, called cutaneous metastases, often were located “in transit” in the lymph nodes of patients. Historically, treatment for these metastatic lesions were surgically removed with or without radiation therapy, but recurrences can be very high.
For the study, researchers a retrospective analysis of patients with stage III or stage IV who had the combination therapy treatment with IL-2 with imiquimod and a topical retinoid melanoma. Patients were controlled by the dermatology department between 2006 and 2015, most were elderly and had other illnesses. Ten of the 11 patients experienced disease recurrence after surgery, and several also nonsurgical treatment has failed.
The data indicated that all patients achieved complete clinical response to treated lesions one to three months of initiation of therapy based on IL-2 intralesional. After two years, 82 percent of patients were alive, and at the end of the study, seven were alive without recurrent melanoma. The remaining five patients died of unrelated causes.
More studies are needed
“The favorable results in these patients are encouraging and suggest that the therapeutic regimen may have a survival benefit , ” concluded Maverikis and the team of researchers.
The authors point out that the study has limitations which records only 11 patients were analyzed, and no experiments leading to determine the effects of the therapeutic regimen in immune systemic response.