Immunotherapy for Patients with Metastatic Melanoma
Name of the Trial
Why Is This Trial Important?
Immunotherapy is treatment that stimulates the immune system's ability to fight disease. In one type of immunotherapy, patients are given tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), disease-fighting white blood cells harvested from the patients' own tumors. The TIL are grown in the laboratory to increase their numbers and then injected back into the patients. Treatment with TIL, however, requires administration of interleukin 2 (IL-2) at the same time. IL-2 is a protein that helps TIL survive in the body, but has significant side effects when given by injection. In this trial, TIL that have been modified to make IL-2 are given to patients with metastatic melanoma after the patients have been treated with chemotherapy to reduce the number of existing white blood cells and make space for the incoming TIL cells.
"For TIL to be successful, patients must receive IL-2 and, consequently, treatment has to be discontinued after a few days because of IL-2-related toxicity," said Dr. Morgan. "The challenge is to figure out how to give this potentially very beneficial treatment without concurrent IL-2 administration. Our solution is to genetically engineer TIL to produce its own IL-2. This should allow TIL to survive long enough in the body to produce a therapeutic effect without subjecting patients to the toxicity of intravenous IL-2."
Who Can Join This Trial?
Where Is This Trial Taking Place?
Who to Contact
An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at http://cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/ft-all-featured-trials.