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Use of GM-CSF for the treatment of malignant melanoma

Use of GM-CSF for the treatment of malignant melanoma

Question

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. 

Answer

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.