A new biological molecule, a monoclonal antibody called Ipilimumab, has been used successfully in the treatment of metastatic melanoma.This molecule, a monoclonal antibody that targets the cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4, has shown clinical efficacy in reducing the further spread of cases of advanced metastatic melanoma.
This antigen also called “checkpoint molecule” rules procedures that act to maximize immune destruction while limiting the collateral damage to normal tissue.
CTLA-4 is part of the internal control process that normally limits the over-T-lymphocyte response in peripheral tissue after a change, in which has the effect of inhibiting lymphocyte antitumor response. Ipilimumab opposes to this and the antitumor activity, at least in melanoma, wins.
A study reported in the NEJM and announced at ASCO 2010 reveals the success of Ipilimumab in ionoterapia against metastatic melanoma. Here is also clearified that adjuvant treatment with the gp100 vaccine (based on a protein of melanoma cell surface) does not lead difference.
In these works are also explained that although this drug does not cross the blood-brain barrier it energizes the T-lymphocytes that in the other hand succeed, successfully acting on metastatic brain lesions of the melanoma. Even in case of progression after treatment, the reinduction of Ipilimumab leads again in the 2/3 of the cases a diffusion control. The NCI has had positive responses also in the association between IL-2 and Ipilimumab.
The drug has side effects also important (grade 3-4 diarrhea, rash skin and itching) in 10-15% of cases (against a 3% with gp100 vaccine) and even deaths.
So it is important and it is necessary to be under close medical supervision in case of ingestion.