Omid Hamid, MD, on Assessing TIL Combination Therapies, Expanding Past Melanoma


The professor from Cedars Sinai discussed further research being conducted in the field after lifileucel’s approval.

“The message here is that we've made major discoveries that give benefit to our patients. And we've moved past the idea that these are standalone therapies. Our current clinical trials are looking at not only combinations, but combinations of different modalities together. So, the future is bright in the care of patients with advanced melanoma of any type, uveal, mucosal, acral, and for all solid tumors.”

The FDA took a big leap forward in the field of cell therapy with the February 2024 approval of Iovance Biotherapeutics’ lifileucel for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma previously treated with a PD-1 blocking antibody, or treated with a BRAF inhibitor with or without a MEK inhibitor in the instance that the patient is if BRAF V600 positive. The tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, marketed under the name Amtagvi, is the first cell therapy approved for solid tumors and comes with a price tag of $515,000 yearly.

CGTLive® spoke with Omid Hamid, MD, professor and director, Melanoma Program, Cedars-Sinai and chief, Translational Research and Immunotherapy, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, who served as a principal investigator on the pivotal trials (NCT02360579; NCT05727904) of lifileucel that supported the accelerated approval. Hamid spoke about the landmark approval of lifileucel as well as other trials that his center is involved in dealing with TIL therapies for other indications including non-small cell lung cancer. He also discussed further research looking into combinations of TILs with natural killer cells and bispecific antibodies. He shared his excitement that more research will likely expand and lengthen already encouraging responses seen with lifileucel alone for patients with melanoma and other solid tumors.

FDA grants accelerated approval to lifileucel for unresectable or metastatic melanoma. News release. FDA. February 16, 2024. Accessed February 16, 2024.
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