Immunotherapy Gene Delivered Via Electrical Shock Shrinks Melanomas

A new immunotherapy shrank most of the melanomas treated in a clinical trial, researchers reported at the 2013 World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress. The results are from a phase II trial that included 13 people and 37 treated tumors. The treatment entailed injecting tumors with DNA containing the gene for an immune system booster called interleukin-12, and then giving the tumor an electrical shock to make it take up the engineered DNA. By 90 days after treatment, 80% of the melanomas had shrunk and nearly half had disappeared completely.