What else is new about uveal melanoma at ASCO?

Four additional abstracts presented at ASCO brought some insights for mapping the mechanisms of metastatic uveal melanoma, future therapeutic targets and better understanding of current treatment options.


Apart from the abstracts discussed on Rare Melanoma Subtypes Poster Discussion Session, which were highlighted on our previous publication, there were four additional abstracts of studies with participation of metastatic uveal melanoma patients presented on poster and oral abstract sessions at ASCO 2019.

Immunotherapy was the hot topic with three posters out of these four abstracts. One suggests some characteristics of the immune system that could predict which patients might be those who most benefit from the treatment with the immune system activator pembrolizumab. The other two studies explored features of an innovative immunotherapy drug that specifically activates our immune cells against melanoma - IMCgp100. First, analysing its potential in turning pre-treated uveal melanoma patients again sensitive to immune system activators previously administered and second, correlating the presence of drug toxicity with treatment benefit, as it was already postulated for other immunotherapies. Further studies with this treatment are ongoing.

Additionally, there was an oral abstract of a study with a drug targeted to one of the known alterations of the uveal melanoma cells - cabozantinib. Patients were treated either with conventional chemotherapy drugs or with this treatment, which is already approved for treatment of other tumours. The trial was stopped due to no proven benefit of this drug in uveal melanoma, however this study provides some findings regarding the tumour analysis and future therapeutic targets.

Even though these studies didn’t bring new clear practical implications, they represent important contributions for mapping the disease and future therapeutic targets.