Complementary to the last blog post (“Biologics in dermatology“), which dealt with the use of biotechnologically produced drugs (biologics) for the treatment of psoriasis, we would like to discuss biologics for the therapy of melanoma in this article.
In the treatment of melanoma, biologics are used in the form of checkpoint inhibitors. There are two approaches:
Firstly, CTLA-4 inhibitors can reduce the anti-proliferative effect on activated T-cells. Secondly, inhibiting the PD-1 signalling pathway (Fig. 1) stimulates the antitumoral immune response, which also increases the number of activated T cells.
This is made possible due to the reduction of apoptosis of regulatory T-cells and the induction of apoptosis of antigen-specific T-cells through the PD-1 signalling pathway.
Fig. 1: Inhibition of the PD-1 signalling pathway; modified according to 1
The following biologics are currently (as of September 2021) available for the treatment of melanoma:
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