Cure For Skin Cancer Sunscreen
People diagnosed with skin cancer now have a new hope of survival. New breakthrough drugs have given people “a chance to fight,” according to Professor Peter Johnson, a clinician at Cancer Research UK. The experimental drugs known as “immunotherapy drugs,” or Yervoy/ipilimumab, “have transformed an area of oncology in which until recently doctors barely had time to get to know their patients,” said Stephen Hodi, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the United States.

According to Hodi, the experimental treatment is exceeding expectations. Its complete success would mean that “some melanoma patients would now be living with a chronic disease, rather than facing imminent death.” This new experimental treatment was approved by regulators in 2011. Since then, it has been hailed as a breakthrough in melanoma treatment. The experimental drug within the treatment (ipilimunab) has now become the first drug ever to extend survival rates in patients who are diagnosed with advanced forms of melanoma and are at risk of death.

The experimental drug works as a “monoclonal antibody,” which is a type of drug that activates the immune system to fight cancerous cells. The monocinal antibody targets a protein receptor called Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4, or CTLA-4. The response time for the treatment ranges from a month to four months. However, according to Hodi, “20 percent of patients have had a favorable response to the drug.”

In addition, Hodi presented empirical data that showed that patients who successfully complete the treatment can survive up to 10 years. The study also showed that patients could be completely treated for their cancer. Alexander Eggermont of the Institute Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center stated that Hodi’s research could lead to a “clinical cure in which drugs help the immune system keep the disease in check.”

Today, there are new immunotherapy drugs that are registered as projects of the Yervoy system. These treatments are designed to disable proteins such as PD1 and PDL1, which disable the immune system from attacking cancerous cells. These drugs plan to be combined with the Yervoy system in order to provide a more complete treatment of melanoma. Thanks to these new experimental treatments, people affected with melanoma are one step closer to obtaining a cure for their disease.

– Stephanie Olaya

Sources: Reuters, NY Post