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Researchers will present studies of three promising melanoma therapies today, part of a wave of new treatments for the most aggressive forms of the disease.
None of the new therapies are cures for melanoma.
But a fraction of patients see rapid improvement in their condition, with dramatic shrinkage of their tumors, says F. Stephen Hodi, director of the melanoma center at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Hodi, who studied a drug called ipilimumab, will discuss his findings in Chicago today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
The Food and Drug Administration approved ipilumumab, sold under the brand name Yervoy, in 2011. Yervoy, the first new drug for melanoma to be approved in more than a decade, helped patients live a median of 10 months, four months longer than those who were given an alternative experimental therapy.
Read the full story at USAToday.com.
Giving experimental agents known as immune checkpoint blockers together or sequentially leads to improved outcomes in metastatic melanoma, according to the results of 2 studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) today.
The studies are both phase 1 trials, and therefore the outcomes are limited in their authority. However, the results are encouraging, especially the findings that the drug combinations did not result in a higher rate and severity of adverse events compared with the individual drugs alone, observes James Riley, PhD, of the Abramson Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He wrote an editorial that accompanies the new studies.
The studies are also being presented here today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO®).
“The future is all about combination therapies,” said Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, a melanoma expert at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He spoke with Medscape Medical News in an interview. Dr. Wolchok said that melanoma will now go the way of other diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV, which have been increasingly successfully treated with the adoption of multiple drug regimens.
Read the full article at MedScape.com.