The Latest Approaches for Melanoma Treatment

Andrew Schorr:


Now, let's take that a step further, Doctor.  In research at UCSF you take an approach and you use medicines and there are different ways you analyze how are you doing.  Is it effective?  Is it killing the cancer?  Is it shrinking the tumors?  Where are we headed in trying to follow the patient on their journey to make sure that you can do course corrections, if you will, make changes if you see that you may be killing some of the cancer cells but not all and you want to do better? 


And I want to explain to our patients something very important.  There are cellular events that occur very rapidly, very rapidly after therapy, okay?  These are called phosphorylation events.  These are events that occur in the cell, okay?  These events are going to tell us which drug to use or how at the very first moment the cell is responding to therapy.  But then there are events that occur later in the cell, and this is called expression, protein expression, and these events are going to institute or are going to determine, better said, if the tumor will respond to therapy or not.


So at the UCSF we analyze the proximal events and we analyze the protein expression events that are going to determine if the patient responds or not.  These analyses are giving us insight towards what's going on in a metastasis when it stops responding to a given inhibitor.

Yes.  Yes, I am.  We are very encouraged.  I think the treatment for melanoma is evolving in a very positive way.  We are better off today as we were 10 years ago, and we see publications constantly where we know more and more about the information and the pathways that melanoma cells are using to divide and to spread.

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