Tags: Cancer | melanoma | skin | cancer | drug

New Melanoma Drug Shows Promise

By    |   Wednesday, 12 November 2014 11:59 AM

A new experimental drug has been found to effectively shrink skin cancer tumors, the University of Colorado Cancer Center reports.
In a new study, published online in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, the researchers found that the next-generation drug TAK-733 was effective in shrinking 10 out of 11 human melanoma samples grown in mice.
The findings suggest the drug could be a new line of treatment against the deadly form of skin cancer, which has been steadily rising among Americans since the 1970s.
“The importance of this molecule is that it’s a next-generation and highly potent inhibitor of a known melanoma pathway. It was highly effective against melanoma and the method of our study – using patient-derived tumor samples grown in mice – makes us especially optimistic that we should see similar results in the human disease,” says John Tentler, an associate professor at CU School of Medicine who helped lead the research.
According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 1 million people in the United States live with melanoma. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug vemurafenib to treat it, but only 80 percent of patients benefit.
“We’re learning how to use existing drugs better … But there is also room for improvement in the drugs themselves and we hope that TAK-733 could improve on the results of existing [medications],” Tentler said.
Tentler said the use of melanoma samples contributed by human patients and then grown in mice (called “patient-derived xenografts”) is a better predictor of the drug’s effectiveness in humans than other laboratory techniques.
“When you grow cells on plastic and inject them into mice, that’s not what a real tumor looks like. Instead, when you take a sample and grow it as a living tumor in a mouse model, you much more faithfully preserve the genetic and tissue landscape characteristics of the original tumor,” Tentler says.

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A next-generation drug has been found to effectively shrink skin cancer tumors, the University of Colorado Cancer Center reports.
melanoma, skin, cancer, drug
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 11:59 AM
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