Oftentimes, patients with multiple myeloma experience disease progression even after receiving a stem cell transplant. However, according to a recent study, a new long-term therapy, lenalidomide, can be used after transplantation to slow down the progression of the disease.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), commonly referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), are the most common types of cancers in the United States. These 2 cancers account for approximately 2 million cases of skin cancer annually.1 BCC is approximately 4 to 5 times more common than SCC.2 Although rarely metastatic, BCC and SCC can cause substantial local destruction involving extensive areas of soft tissue, cartilage, and bone, as well as disfigurement.
Continuous use of aspirin for 5 years or more reduces the risk of cutaneous melanoma by almost half, according to results of a case-control study. Continuous use of nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also reduces risk, but only by 25%.
Patients with stage IV or locally advanced stage III cutaneous melanoma experienced higher response rates and longer progression-free survival (PFS) when treated with a gp100 vaccine and interleukin-2 than with interleukin-2 alone, in a phase 3 randomized trial. Tumors in all 185 patients expressed HLA*A0201, which allowed presentation of the peptide vaccine to T cells. The researchers concluded that their results show the potential of immune agents in combination with other treatments in this patient population.
Patients with inoperable metastatic melanoma now have another treatment option as ipilimumab becomes the second immunotherapy drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer. Fortunately for clinicians, ipilimumab also has a new, easier-to-pronounce name—Yervoy. Specifically, Yervoy is indicated for patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma that is newly diagnosed or progresses despite prior therapy.
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