Giving abatacept after checkpoint inhibitors can improve immunotherapy responses in melanoma

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Published: 19 May 2022
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Dr Stephen Mok - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA

Dr Stephen Mok speaks to ecancer about giving abatacept after checkpoint inhibitors to improve immunotherapy responses in melanoma.

Combining immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as those targeting CTLA-4 and PD-1, can improve responses over single agents but also increases immune-related side effects.

This study investigated the effects of abatacept when combined with checkpoint inhibitors at different stages over the course of treatment.

Dr Mok explains the methodology of the study saying that in the laboratory melanoma models were treated with either anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1 or combination therapy, adding abatacept early during treatment blunted the effects of the checkpoint inhibitors.

Dr Mok says using abatacept after the completion of therapy improved anti-tumour responses; the effects were dependent on stimulation by CD80/86 and the activity of specific T cells called Tregs.

The results suggest a potential combination strategy to improve immunotherapy responses and minimise toxicity.