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

MM in the Elderly Population: Perspective at the University of Connecticut Health Center

Owing to our suburban location in the midst of residential communities with an increasing aging population and also owing to the University of Connecticut's (CT, USA) vibrant aging institute, we are encountering a larger number of older melanoma patients in all stages of disease. Our early experience in managing those with MM showed diverse outcomes, with some patients demonstrating a very aggressive course of disease and others demonstrating an indolent course or a dramatic anti-tumor response to standard chemotherapy resulting in durable responses. This latter finding was in contrast to the general opinion and commonly held belief of a poorer prognosis when melanoma arose in the elderly. Preliminary results of a retrospective analysis included 55 patients with MM treated at the University of Connecticut Health Center between August 2002 and December 2010 (35 older patients aged 60 or above and 20 patients younger than 60 years of age) treated with standard chemotherapy combinations. The preliminary results suggest no difference in survival of patients with MM by age group (old vs young) [HEGDE UP, MERCADO R, MERCADO J ET AL., UNPUBLISHED DATA]. To complement our clinical observations, we are performing comprehensive immunologic studies of the adaptive immune system, with particular focus around anti-melanoma effector lymphocyte activity and its regulation by the natural Treg apparatus.


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