Did you see the story about another new melanoma wonder drug this morning on NBC’s The Today Show? Here is the introduction to a companion Reuters story running on MSNBC.com:

BOSTON — An experimental targeted cancer drug shrank advanced melanoma tumors in 81 percent of patients with the deadly and hard-to-treat cancer, doctors said Wednesday.

The findings were part of an early phase study used to determine the best dose of the experimental drug PLX4032, now in late-stage clinical trials. It is designed to target tumor cells with a mutation in a gene called BRAF. The drug is made by Roche and privately held Plexxikon.

In two patients, tumors went away completely. In 24 others, the tumors shrank by more than 30 percent, the team reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The team said 81 percent of 32 patients with a BRAF mutation showed complete or partial shrinkage of their tumors.

“We can see the improvement in patients and it’s happening quite rapidly, within a week or two of starting treatment,” Dr. Keith Flaherty of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston said in a telephone interview.

“For patients without symptoms, the hope is that it delays the time it takes for them to develop symptoms, and we have some belief that that is happening as we speak,” said Flaherty, who worked on the study.

But the effect appears to be fleeting.

In all but two cases, where the cancer has stayed away for at least a year, the benefits have been temporary, typically lasting about six months, Flaherty said.

Go to: New hope for melanoma patients to read the article.

NBC ran a similarly exciting story about another new, anti-melanoma drug, Ipilimumab, in June.
Here is the link to that story: New Melanoma Drug, Ipilimumab Big News Here In Chicago At ASCO

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

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