GP Update Skin Cancers

T-VEC Immunotherapy treatment for Melanoma

The Royal Marsden is one of the first centres in London to offer T-VEC immunotherapy treatment for private patients with unresectable advanced melanoma

07 November 2016

Professor Kevin Harrington

Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s own immune response to target and destroy cancer cells.

T-VEC is a modified form of the herpes simplex virus which multiplies inside cancer cells and bursts them from within. It has been genetically engineered to produce a molecule called GM-CSF, which stimulates the immune system to attack and destroy the tumour.

The pioneering new treatment has been developed by researchers and clinicians at The Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), led by Professor Kevin Harrington.

The Royal Marsden’s Skin Unit is now able to offer T-VEC through a multidisciplinary team including surgeons, medical oncologists and specialist nurses.

Four of the consultants leading in delivering this new treatment are:

Professor Kevin Harrington

Professor Kevin Harrington specialises in treating patients with head and neck cancer. He is Joint Head of the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging. In addition to expertise in the use of radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy, he is an authority on drug treatment of relapsed and metastatic head and neck cancer. He is a Professor in Biological Cancer Therapies at ICR and a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden.

Dr James Larkin

Dr James Larkin is a Consultant Medical Oncologist specialising in the treatment of melanoma and cancers of the kidney. His research interests involve trying to understand cancer and its consequences better, as well as developing improved treatments, particularly with targeted therapies and immunotherapies.

Mr Myles Smith

Mr Myles Smith is a Consultant Surgical Oncologist and General Surgeon in the Sarcoma Unit and Skin Unit at The Royal Marsden. He has a special interest in surgery for soft tissue sarcoma and melanoma, in particular retroperitoneal, pelvic and intra-abdominal sarcomas (e.g. GIST, leiomyosarcoma and SFT) as well as anorectal and visceral melanoma.

Professor Martin Gore

Professor Martin Gore is Professor of Cancer Medicine at ICR, and a Consultant Medical Oncologist in the gynaecological cancer, melanoma and kidney cancer units. His main research interests are the development of novel therapeutics in ovarian cancer, melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, particularly in the area of immunotherapy, gene therapy and targeted agents.

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