New Drugs Could Treat Drug-Resistant Skin Cancer

Drug-Resistant Skin Cancer pic A new group of drugs could treat incurable skin cancer, a recent study shows. Clinical trials to test the new drugs could begin in 2015. The current available treatments, which target a cancer-causing protein known as BRAF that instigate about 50 percent of melanomas, are initially highly effective. However, the cancer builds resistance to these drugs in a year.

The new drugs, which are known as panRAF inhibitors, could be useful for patients with melanoma who have become resistant to BRAF inhibitors. Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found that the new drugs halted the growth of BRAF-instigated melanomas, which include melanomas that no longer responded to the current drugs that target BRAF.

In addition, the new drugs eliminated tumor growth for cancers in which BRAF-targeted drugs never worked at all. The researchers said that the new treatment attacks cancer without any possibility of drug resistance and can simultaneously block several cancer proteins. They added that the new drugs are more effective than the current available treatments in that they target a number of “cell survival routes” at the same time. The researchers hope that the new drugs will provide much-needed treatment for patients who have no other options.

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