Since the 1970’s there has been negligible progress in slowing or even stopping skin cancer. Now, at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London and Surrey, it has been proven that a drug has the ability to slow the reproduction of the deadliest skin cancer form, increasing the rate of survival of patients.
More than a thousand patients each year throughout the UK would be aided, where theirs has come back with a vengeance post-op.
The specific medicine, RG7204, is taken in the form of a pill, which is set to deal with a faulty gene that is found in 50% of the cases where there is malignant melanoma.
The cases of malignant melanoma have increases by 400% within only 30 years. This is a faster increase than any other cancer. Many experts believe it is the result of wider spread travel to sunny locations and popularity of sunbeds.
The reports did not reveal the length of extension of life for those who took the medicine, simply because it has not been professionally presented yet in either a journal or at a conference. However, they did note that the period is much longer than those undergoing traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, malignant melanoma is not caught by the doctors until the patient has mere months left to live.
Studies done earlier reported a six to seven month life extension in contrast to two for traditional treatments.
Since the results are so optimistic, existing trial patients who are on chemo will now be given the medicine instead.
The research studied 680 patients across the globe. Seventy percent of those who have this faulty gene experienced a significant reduction in their tumour’s size.
The manufacturer, Roche, is now seeking a license to administer the medicine to those late in the progression of the disease.
The UK lead researcher for the study, Dr. James Larkin, from The Royal Marsden, said, “This is an amazing achievement. You can’t imagine how stubborn this disease is to treat. The outcome of the phase III trial is great hope in light of the increased occurrences of malignant melanoma in young people.”