Treatment Of Melanoma With Ferroptosis Inducing Agents

Tech ID: 28887 / UC Case 2017-879-0


UCLA researchers in the Departments of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and Medicine have developed a novel method to treat melanoma.


Immune checkpoint blockade immunotherapy with anti-PD1 antibody is the preferred treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma that has resisted other therapies. However, there remains a subset of patients that does not respond to or relapses following this therapeutic strategy, as de-differentiation of melanoma cells is known to increase resistance to conventional immunotherapies. So far there is no therapy specifically tailored to target these immunotherapy-resistant de-differentiated melanoma cells.


Researchers at UCLA have developed a method to treat melanoma that resists conventional immune checkpoint blockade immunotherapy by using ferroptosis-inducing drugs. Ferroptosis is a type of cell death resulting from accumulation of reactive oxygen species that degrade lipids in the cell membrane. De-differentiating cells, such as the immunotherapy-resistant or kinase inhibitor-resistant melanoma, are highly susceptible to ferroptosis. Combination treatment with ferroptosis-inducing agents can be a valuable, new synergistic approach for overcoming resistance to melanoma therapy.


  • Combinatorial therapy for cancer treatment
  • Stratification method for skin cancer treatment
  • Screening method for immunotherapy-resistant or kinase inhibitor-resistant melanomas


  • Specifically targets a subset of cancer cells that resist other forms of therapy
  • Combinatorial use with conventional immunotherapy or kinase inhibitors prevents tumor escape due to de-differentiation

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20200163966 05/28/2020 2017-879
European Patent Office Published Application 3645739 05/06/2020 2017-879
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application 2019006005 01/03/2019 2017-879

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  • Graeber, Thomas G.

Other Information


melanoma resistant ferroptosis skin cancer drugs immunotherapy PD1 CTLA4 combination immune checkpoint blockade, MAP kinase pathway, MAPK, BRAF inhibitors, MEK inhibitors

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