March 11, 2009

Drug Combo Attacks Melanoma

Researchers have identified a drug combination that shows promise in attacking deadly melanoma. By targeting and disabling a protein frequently found in melanoma tumors, doctors may be able to make the cancer more vulnerable to chemotherapy.

The early results appear in a clinical study conducted by researchers in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. Doctors gave patients with extremely advanced melanoma a compound that had been shown in pre-clinical studies to weaken tumors. Researchers found the treatment to be well tolerated and a surprising number of patients in the study had tumors disappear altogether.

"These early results are very exciting because metastatic melanoma is one of the most deadly cancers and one which is typically very unresponsive to therapy," Georgia Beasley, MD,  lead study author was quoted as saying.

Beasley added the next step is to continue testing more patients at Duke and other cancer centers.

SOURCE: Duke University Medical Center, March 2009