In 10 seconds? Skin cancer patients have greatly benefited from multiple cancer immunotherapy treatments, but it’s been unclear which treatments are superior. A new head-to-head study reveals that tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy leads to better health outcomes than immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment in advanced-stage skin cancer patients.
Oof. You’re going to need to break that down… That’s what I’m here for! First off, immunotherapies are cancer treatments that boost our immune system to treat cancer. Immune checkpoint inhibitors, or ICIs, are drugs that can re-activate inactivated immune cells, prompting them to attack and kill cancer cells (Read a digest on ICIs here). There are multiple types of ICIs. One ICI called ipilimumab, which is targeted at a molecule known as CTLA4, is known to work very strongly against cancer. However, it is also associated with severe side effects, so it is frequently used only when other treatments fail. Even so, advanced-stage skin cancer patients treated with anti-CTLA4 checkpoint inhibitors only experience long-lasting benefits about 15-30% of the time.