Combining targeted radionuclide therapy and immunotherapy could improve melanoma survival

IMAGE: PET/CT imaging shows selective and prolonged retention of NM600 labeled with Yttrium-86 -a PET imaging isotope- in tumors while clearing from other normal organs and tissues. view more 

Credit: R Hernandez, R Patel, et al., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisc.

PHILADELPHIA – Research presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) shows that combining targeted radionuclide therapy with immunotherapy could improve the survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.

Immunotherapies, which use the patient’s immune system to fight disease, have increased the survival of many advanced-stage cancer patients. However, for most patients their cancer will either not respond or initially respond but subsequently become resistant to immunotherapy.

“External beam radiotherapy has been shown to enhance cancer response when used in combination with immunotherapy in preclinical studies,” explains Reinier Hernandez, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Results can be significantly limited though in the presence of metastatic disease whereby distant tumors that are not targeted with external beam radiation may be relatively resistant to immune recognition and may even harbor suppressive immune cells that can limit the response of effector cells at the radiated tumor site.”

He points out, “The true novelty


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