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Vical Incorporated Message Board

  • whatstockisup whatstockisup Jun 4, 2013 12:47 PM Flag

    Isn't A7 already doing this?

    Scientists have completed initial tests on a new drug for advanced melanoma and report that it yields positive results in treating this type of malignancy. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer.

    A research team from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center completed the initial clinical trial of the Merck drug lambrolizumab (MK3475), according to ScienceDaily. They noted positive effects in 135 patients with advanced melanoma.

    The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 45,000 U.S. men and 31,000 women will die in 2013 after developing melanoma of the skin. Healthcare providers classify melanoma as advanced when the skin cancer has spread from the point of origin to another region of the body. Unfortunately, while treatments can extend the lifespan of a patient with advanced melanoma, the disease can't be cured once it has reached that stage, says Cancer Research UK.

    The UCLA team reported their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine. They divided patients into three groups and assigned each group a different treatment plan.

    Considering all the patients, 38 percent on MK3475 experienced confirmed improvement. Among those on the lowest dose, a quarter had improvement. Of those on the highest, 52 percent improved.

    The scientists didn't calculate the average duration of patient response because they removed from the study five subjects with initial responses after their melanoma worsened. So far, the longest response has exceeded a year.

    Researchers were encouraged that any side effects were typically mild and easy to manage: fever, fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of skin color, and skin rash. More severe side effects like kidney or lung inflammation affected 13 percent of the subjects.

    According to researcher Dr. Antoni Ribas, UCLA professor of medicine, the trial showed that lambrolizumab had the greatest rate of durable responses among any of the drugs tested for melanoma. Experts believe the drug works by reactivating the imm

    Sentiment: Buy

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