Marlana M. Orloff, MD, discusses key efficacy data and reviews adverse events seen with tebentafusp in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma.
For patients who are eligible for treatment with Kimmtrak, how does this treatment work?
Marlana M. Orloff, MD: Kimmtrak [tebentafusp] is a newer type of immunotherapy, also called a T-cell redirector, that acts like a magnet that combines your own immune system, your T cell, and drags it over to a target on the cancer, something called gp100 [glycoprotein 100], and kind of forces them to engage, hopefully allowing the immune system to kill the cancer.
In the clinical trial, they compared Kimmtrak to investigator’s choice, which could have been pembrolizumab, dacarbazine, or ipilimumab. Kimmtrak showed a 1-year overall survival of 73% vs 59% in the comparator group. It was this improvement in overall survival that led to the FDA approval of Kimmtrak.
Due to Kimmtrak’s unique mechanism of action, one of the most common adverse effects we can see is rash. The drug can drag the immune system over to something called gp100, which is on the surface of the tumor but also on melanocytes in the skin causing the rash. One of the other adverse effects that we need to monitor patients very carefully for is something called cytokine release syndrome. This type of syndrome is really due to immune overstimulation, and we can see things such as fever, low blood pressure, and low oxygen. It’s very important that these patients are monitored, at least for the first 16 hours, for the first three doses, to ensure that this syndrome, if it does occur, is managed appropriately.
Transcript edited for clarity.