Atezolizumab in addition to cobimetinib and vemurafenib is in development for the treatment of BRAF mutated metastatic melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which arises from the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin and is the most aggressive and life-threatening form of skin cancer. BRAF is a type of gene that drives rapid tumour growth and approximately half of all melanomas have mutations in the BRAF gene. Factors associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma include fair skin, exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet energy, and a history of sunburn or moles.
Atezolizumab is a type of immunotherapy that helps the body’s immune system attack the cancer and interferes with the ability of tumour cells to grow and spread. Cobimetinib and vemurafenib are targeted therapies that block specific pathways to stop the growth of tumour cells in BRAF mutated melanoma. The addition of atezolizumab to cobimetinib and vemurafenib has the potential to optimize the sequencing of targeted therapy and immunotherapy for patients with BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma.
Nivolumab in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil is in clinical development for patients with unresectable, advanced, recurrent or metastatic oesophageal squamous cell cancer cell carcinoma. Advanced oesophageal cancer begins in the food pipe and spreads to other parts of the body. Squamous cell cancers develop from the cells that make up the inner lining of the oesophagus. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, persistent acid indigestion or heartburn, weight loss, pain in the throat, and chronic cough. Lifestyle factors are attributed to most oesophageal cancers, including smoking and being overweight.