New drug created to treat skin cancer

24 February 2012

Researchers in the US have come up with a new advanced skin cancer treatment which has the capability to significantly improve the chances of surviving the disease.

Coming in the form of a drug, the strategy has already been trialled with appealing results, with survival times almost doubling.

Entitled Zelboraf, the drug was given to 132 patients in the US and Australia, with survival times reaching an average of 16 months.

This is an increase of the nine months which people are given to live when given conventional skin cancer treatments.

Dr Antoni Ribas, a professor of haematology/oncology and a researcher at the Jonsson Cancer Center at the University of California-Los Angeles, noted: "This study shows that Zelboraf changes the natural history of this disease."

He also explained that the results of the research, which have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicate that "this drug is having a very big impact".

Cancer Research UK disclosed in its own study that there were 11,767 new cases of the most serious form of skin cancer, malignant melanomas, in 2008 alone.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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