A study by a team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators finds evidence that combining three advanced treatment strategies for malignant melanoma – molecular targeted therapy, immune checkpoint blockade, and the use of tumor-targeting viruses – may markedly improve outcomes. Their report of experiments in cellular and animal models is being published in Science Translational Medicine.
“We found that use of the oncolytic virus T-VEC significantly enhanced therapeutic response and tumor cell killing when combined with a MEK inhibitor and that adding a PD-1 blocker to that regimen further improved therapeutic responses,” says Howard Kaufman, MD, of the MGH Division of Surgical Oncology, senior author of the report. “All three agents we used are already FDA approved, so our study provides justification for using them in combination. A clinical trial to examine this three-drug regimen should be a priority.”