Jakarta - The researchers scored the first victory against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Found an experimental drug that can significantly improve survival.
"We do not have any therapies that have the possibility to live longer than at present," said D Lynn Schuchter of the Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, a specialist in skin cancer who do not have any relationship to the study or the drug manufacturer.
A drug called iplimumab It works by helping the immune system to fight tumors. The Federal Food and Drug Administration has promised to make a quick review so that the drug could be available at least the end of this year.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Last year in the United States, there has been 68 720 new cases and 8650 deaths from this disease. Worldwide, more than 50,000 people die every year due to melanoma.
Studies of skin cancer was followed by 676 people worldwide suffering from melanoma and has attended various treatments, a very sad situation. They were then given one of three treatments, only iplimumab, with treatment of other immune stimulation and immune stimulation treatment only.
After a two-year, 24% of those given the drug only one or a combination of live compared with 14% of those who were given immunity stimulation treatment.
"The average life expectancy about 10 months with iplimumab compared with only six months for other users, and there is an increasing possibility of living for 67% of users of these drugs," said study leader Dr. Steven U'Day from the Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Los Angeles.
Doctors hope that this drug can provide more benefit when given early to people with this disease. As many as 10% to 15% of patients using iplimumab have side effects related to drug effects for the immune system. Most were treated with high doses of steroids with 14 deaths associated with such treatment. Although, this amount is very small compared to deaths caused by cancer.
This study was funded by Bristol-Myers and Medarex, Inc., a drug development company has purchased the Bristol-Myers last year. A spokesman said that Bristol-Myers has not determined the price, but the treatment is equivalent to the cost of other cancers that ranged thousands of dollars or more each month.
This conclusion was reported in the annual conference of the 'American Society of Clinical Oncology', Chicago and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. [Mor]