Tags: skin | cancer | drug

Skin Cancer Treatment Hailed

Friday, 15 June 2012 01:38 PM

Scientists are hailing a new skin cancer drug that treats advanced, inoperable cases of basal cell skin cancer as “the greatest advance in therapy yet seen" for the disease, in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Vismodegib -- a drug tested by the Mayo Clinic, Translational Genomics Research Institute and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare – has been found to effectively treat and block the spread of advanced skin cancer, providing a new option for patients with inoperable tumors.
Marketed under the trade name Erivedge, the drug was approved for wider used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January after studies by the collaborative group found that it shrank advanced basal cell carcinoma tumors in 43 percent of patients with locally advanced tumors and in 30 percent of patients whose disease had spread to other organs.
"The availability of vismodegib and similar medications will really change the way we treat the patients with advanced forms of [skin cancer], who had very limited options to date,” said lead researcher Dr. Sekulic. “It is possible that the drug may also be of benefit in treatment of earlier stages of [the disease], and this is currently being evaluated in several clinical trials."
The NEJM editorial said: "It is a landmark day for patients with basal cell carcinoma and all those involved in their care."
Most instances of basal cell cancer can be effectively treated, but in some cases, the tumors spread and develop an aggressive form of the cancer that does not respond to standard surgery.

© HealthDay

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New drug that treats advanced basal cell skin cancer called 'greatest advance yet.'
Friday, 15 June 2012 01:38 PM
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