Immunotherapy is a promising method of treatment for a number of cancers. Many of the curative results have been seen specifically in advanced-stage melanoma. Despite this, single-agent therapies are only successful in a small percentage of patients, and relapse is very common. As chemotherapy is becoming a thing of the past for treatment of melanoma, the combination of cellular therapies with immunotherapies appears to be on the rise in in-vivo models and in clinical trials. These forms of therapies include tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, T-cell receptor, or chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells, cytokines [interleukin (IL-2), IL-15, IL-12, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-α, interferon-γ], antibodies (αPD-1, αPD-L1, αTIM-3, αOX40, αCTLA-4, αLAG-3), dendritic cell-based vaccines, and chemokines (CXCR2). There are a substantial number of ongoing clinical trials using two or more of these combination therapies. Preliminary results indicate that these combination therapies are a promising area to focus on for cancer treatments, especially melanoma. The main challenges with the combination of cellular and immunotherapies are adverse events due to toxicities and autoimmunity. Identifying mechanisms for reducing or eliminating these adverse events remains a critical area of research. Many important questions still need to be elucidated in regard to combination cellular therapies and immunotherapies, but with the number of ongoing clinical trials, the future of curative melanoma therapies is promising.
Department of Surgery, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, Illinois, USA
Correspondence to Kendra C. Foley, MS, Department of Surgery, Oncology Research Institute, Loyola University Chicago, 2160 South 1st Avenue, Building 112, Room 308, Maywood, IL 60153, USA Tel: +1 708 327 2340; fax: +1 708 327 3158; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received September 8, 2017
Accepted January 22, 2018