Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Around half of melanomas will have changes to a gene called BRAF which has been known to increase the activity of the MEK/ERK pathway in the cells which causes growth and spread of cancer cells. The main sign of melanoma are changes to moles which can include changes in size, shape and colour of the mole and pain, bleeding or crusting of the mole. People who are most at risk of developing melanoma are those with genetic mutations (such as the BRAF mutation), those with fair skin who burn easily and those who are exposed to the sun or use sunbeds. In metastatic melanoma, the cancer has spread from the skin to other parts of the body.
The combination of atezolizumab (given by injection) and cobimetinib (given orally) is being developed specifically for metastatic melanoma. Atezolizumab works by activating immune cells to recognise and attack cancer cells and cobimetinib works by blocking the MEK/ERK pathway and so stops the cancer cells from growing. This combination has not been used together before in melanoma, but have shown potential to slow down the growth and spread of melanoma. If licenced atezolizumab and cobimetinib may provide a treatment option for people with metastatic melanoma who do not have BRAF mutations – known as BRAF wild-type metastatic melanoma.
Pembrolizumab is a medicinal product that is being investigated as treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Hodgkin lymphoma is a type
of cancer of the lymphatic system and it is the most common type. The condition is called relapsed or refractory when it recurs after a period of improvement or when it does not
respond to treatment. The most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a swelling in the neck, armpit or groin.