Metastatic Melanoma in the Older Patient

Immunologic Insights and Treatment Outcomes

Upendra P Hegde; Nitya Chakraborty; Bijay Mukherji; Jane M Grant Kels


Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2011;11(2):185-193. 

In This Article

Expert commentary

Metastatic melanoma is a very aggressive form of cancer associated with a high mortality rate with the currently available treatments. Although a significant amount of literature exists regarding CM in older patients that suggests that older age is a poor prognostic marker, very little information is published about the outcome of older patients with MM and the impact of the aging immune system in such patients. Since the incidence of CM is rising rapidly in older patients, a large number of older melanoma patients with metastatic disease will be encountered in our clinics. Management of these patients will require a better understanding of the aging immune system since CM is a model of an immunogenic tumor. Therefore, critical integration of immune-based treatment strategies will continue to play an important role in the development of effective treatments for these patients. A comprehensive understanding of the imbalances in the aging immune system, with particular emphasis on changes in effector T lymphocytes, its regulation and a profile of generated cytokines, will help the design of effective immune-based treatments in selected older melanoma patients with MM. Increased efforts will also be needed to design clinical trials targeting older patients with CM at high risk of recurrence and those with systemic metastatic disease.


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