A type of individualized T cell helps people with advanced melanoma, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, known as TILS, allowed people with advanced melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer, to live longer than those who received an antibody alone, a recent study showed. Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson at Johns Hopkins says not only must TILS be grown from each patient, giving them also re         quires multiple steps.

Nelson: To administer the TILS you need to give some chemotherapy drugs that kill a lot of other lymphocytes so there’s room for them to expand. They randomized to get that treatment versus ipilimumab. What they saw appeared to favor the use of TILS. The chance to recur was only half of what it was with the ipilimumab. There were responses. Nearly half those who got the TILS and only 20-21% of those who got the ipilimumab. So this seems to be an interesting approach.  :29

Nelson says such an approach starts first with tumor excision, so it’s not possible with earlier stage melanoma. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.