People with high-risk stage II melanoma, a skin cancer that has infiltrated the skin but not yet spread to other locations in the body, could benefit from receiving the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab after surgery. Pembrolizumab treatment after surgery also reduced the risk of the melanoma returning to other parts of the body. More research needs to be done to determine which patients with stage IIB or IIC melanoma should receive pembrolizumab.
“The results could potentially represent a new standard of care in this group of patients with stage IIB or IIC melanoma,” says Janice Mehnert, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine and associate director for clinical research at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, which was one of the sites in the trial. “We really need to figure out which of the patients are actually going to benefit from a therapy like this because the side effects are not trivial.”
Read more from the NCI Cancer Currents Blog.