Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jefferson Researcher's Results Show Promise For Metastatic Eye Melanoma

Date:
May 18, 2005
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Summary:
When melanoma of the eye spreads to the liver, patients have few good options. Surgery is frequently impossible, and chemotherapy hasn't proven effective. But now, by simultaneously revving up the immune system and choking off the tumor's oxygen supply, oncologists at Jefferson Medical College have shown promising results from an early, phase 1-2 clinical trial of a novel treatment for uveal melanoma that has spread to the liver.

When melanoma of the eye spreads to the liver, patients have few good options. Surgery is frequently impossible, and chemotherapy hasn’t proven effective. But now, by simultaneously revving up the immune system and choking off the tumor’s oxygen supply, oncologists at Jefferson Medical College and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia may have found a better way to battle this deadly cancer.

Related Articles


Researchers, led by Takami Sato, M.D., K. Hasumi Associate Professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, have shown promising results from an early, phase 1-2 clinical trial of a novel treatment for uveal melanoma that has spread to the liver.

In the procedure, called immunoembolization, Dr. Sato and his co-workers “embolize,” or block off the hepatic artery, which is a major artery feeding the liver, cutting off oxygen to liver tumors. They infuse a chemical called GM-CSF, which stimulates the immune system – specifically, cells called macrophages and dendritic cells – to produce an inflammatory reaction, and it’s hoped, fight the cancer.

In the trial, which was aimed at testing for treatment toxicity and feasibility, Dr. Sato found that 30 percent of 39 patients studied (34 of whom had uveal melanoma) had tumor shrinkage and another 30 percent had tumors that didn’t grow.

He presents his team’s findings May 17, 2005 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando.

“We have seen a surprising phenomenon,” he says. “Compared to chemoembolization (a similar, older therapy that entails giving a patient chemotherapy directly into the liver), our patients did just as well and some did better. The treatment is doing something to prolong survival.

“If we’re right,” Dr. Sato says, “we could delay metastases.”

Dr. Sato also found a response in other tumors in the body besides the liver – a potentially important finding, he says. Patients in the study lived on average about twice as long compared to those who received chemoembolization in an earlier study he and his team conducted.

Dr. Sato heads one of the few programs in the nation treating metastatic uveal melanoma, which is a melanoma originating in the eye and the most common adult eye tumor. It is very rare, affecting perhaps 6 or 7 individuals per 1 million. When it spreads to the liver, patients who do not receive treatment live on average about 6 months. The treatment Dr. Sato is testing is used for patients who are not eligible for surgery.

While the trial results show the two-pronged treatment is safe and feasible – as well as providing promising responses to metastases, Dr. Sato reaffirms the need for a larger phase 2 study, which has already opened for patients with uveal melanoma metastatic to the liver. The phase 2 trial compares immunoembolization to embolization, or cutting off the tumor’s oxygen supply. The trial is funded by an R21 grant for nearly $600,000 over two years that he recently received from the National Cancer Institute.

In the new trial, he will also monitor the immune system reaction, looking for an increase in numbers of specific immune cells. He plans to biopsy patient livers, he notes, because “If the GM-CSF is working, an inflammatory response should be seen in the liver tumor.”

The next step in the future, he says, would be to conduct a phase 3 multicenter trial comparing chemoembolization and immunoembolization. He notes that the immunoembolization procedure may be useful in treating primary liver cancer or other types of cancer that have spread to the liver as well.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "Jefferson Researcher's Results Show Promise For Metastatic Eye Melanoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517221119.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. (2005, May 18). Jefferson Researcher's Results Show Promise For Metastatic Eye Melanoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517221119.htm
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "Jefferson Researcher's Results Show Promise For Metastatic Eye Melanoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050517221119.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins