GM-CSF for Melanoma
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I was diagnosed with melanoma on my left foot, Stage Ib, in 2005. In 2009, I was found to have a recurrence in the left thigh. This was removed and there appears to be no organ involvement. I do not want to take any toxic treatments and am wondering about your thoughts on GM-CSF, which is my plan for treatment.
Keith T. Flaherty, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), responds:
GM-CSF as adjuvant therapy continues to be investigated in clinical trials, with no clear signal yet as to whether or not it helps to prevent recurrences of melanoma. It is clearly a well-tolerated therapy and therefore, has little going against it in that respect. There are ongoing trials testing the value of GM-CSF by itself, and others that are combining the therapy with other immunological therapies, such as vaccines. In conclusion, right now, the jury remains out on GM-CSF, and you should discuss the pros and cons of this therapy in your particular case with your oncologist(s).