New developments of anti-aging and health news, with regards to treatment options for skin cancer were presented this past weekend that prolong survival to those afflicted. Both treatments aim at shrinking tumors and thus improve survival rates, even though they work differently.
The first strengthens the patient’s immune system thereby helps to fight the disease. The second targets mutates genes that encourage the growth of cancer cells. Although both show promise to patients and the medical community, neither of them are cures for melanoma.
With regards to the first treatment, the drug Ipilimumab (sold under the name Yervoy), stimulates the immune system and extends the survival of patients suffering from melanoma. The study involved 2 groups where one of them was taking Yervoy along with dacarbazine, the other group was taking chemotherapy and a placebo. There were 502 patients in all who took part in this clinical study.
After three years, 21% of the Yervoy group was still living, and only 12% of those on the chemotherapy and the placebo.
The drug which is still in experimental stages, Vemurafenib, is what is responsible for blocking cancer cell growth. In comparison to the conventional chemotherapy treatment, which is effective in only 10% of patients, this new drug shows benefits to 90% of patients. It shrinks the tumors while killing the cancer cells.
In fact, in the third stage of the study, out of the 675 patients using Vemurafenib, 48% had exceptional had substantial shrinkage in the tumors as opposed to only 5.5% of those taking the conventional chemotherapy treatment. Furthermore, there were other promising results with reduced risk of death.
The medical community is very happy with the results and strongly believe that this drug will most likely receive FDA approval within the year. They are excited because they didn’t have many options in the past with regards to treatment that actually increased survival in patients.
Unfortunately, there is a down side to both treatments which include side effects. As well, Vemurafenib will only work for up to 10 months on patients. Yervoy is slow to take effect, which can be a problem for patients who don’t have that time available to them.
In addition to the good news is that Bristol-Myers Squibb who makes Yervoy is teaming up with Genetech who manufactures Vemurafenib and researchers to further study the effects of both drugs used in combination on patients, which is an uncommon practice, but could be extremely beneficial to patients of today and tomorrow.
The American Cancer Society is concerned with the growing numbers of cases of melanoma, stating that it is of the most common of cancers whereby 8,700 patients died in 2010 of the 68,000 that were diagnosed. Of course, there are different types of melanoma, some can be prevented and others not. The important thing is to take precautions and avoid sun bathing or staying in stong sunlight for extended periods.
Precautions also include being responsible and applying sunscreen whenever going outdoors. For easier protection that is a body wash and sunscreen combined, click on the link following: The Absolute Best Sunscreen You Can’t Forget