Use of GM-CSF for the treatment of malignant melanoma

Last Modified: May 23, 2004


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Do you have any current info on the use of GM-CSF for the treatment of malignant melanoma? I would appreciate any help in finding most current info on the effectiveness of this treatment. 


Julia Draznin Maltzman, MD, Attending Physician at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, responds:

The only therapeutic data with GM-CSF for melanoma that I am familiar with is a phase II vaccine trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 26 patients with advanced melanoma received 6 vaccines of a multi-peptide mixture and an immuno-therapy drug called interleukin-2. These vaccines were prepared with GM-CSF. GM-CSF is a protein found in the blood (secreted by certain types of white blood cells) that helps to regulate the immune response. The thought being that preparing the vaccine with GM-CSF would serve to further rev up the immune system to fight against the melanoma. I am unaware of any data where this protein may be used as monotherapy for melanoma.

You may want to try the OncoLink/EmergingMed clinical trials matching service to see if you are eligible for any clinical trials based at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.