Slowing Melanoma's Progress
For melanoma sufferers, a breakthrough of sorts appears to be at hand. A study presented at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and published online as an abstract reported that a new drug targeting mutated genes referred to as BRAF showed promise in slowing the progression of the disease.
According to lead author Axel Hauschild, MD of University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany and colleagues, patients receiving the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib had a median progression-free survival rate of 5.1 months compared with 2.7 months for those given the medication dacarbazine.
MedPage Today says the researchers wrote that the "encouraging response rate" should be considered in light of the 5.1 month progression-free survival, "which shows that melanoma cells become resistant quite quickly." The researchers cautioned, however, that the number of deaths thus far has been too small for firm conclusions about overall survival.