A study of a new drug for advanced skin cancer has shown it almost doubles survival times, The drug, called vemurafenib, was tested in a clinical trial that examined its impact on tumour size and survival in patients with advanced melanoma skin cancer that had spread to other parts of the body.
Patients live longer
The outlook for this type of cancer is generally poor as it's an aggressive cancer with few treatment options and patients tend to survive for less than a year. Researchers found that approximately half of the patients responded to the drug and that the overall survival rate in these patients was nearly 16 months, on average.
Better outlook for patients with genetic mutation
This study provides evidence on the effectiveness of a new drug, vemurafenib, for treating some patients with metastatic melanoma. Because the drug works by targeting a specific genetic mutation, it won’t be suitable for patients who aren’t carrying the mutation, which is found in around half of patients with melanoma that has spread.
The drug has not yet been approved in Europe
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