New Drug Treatment Improves Melanoma Survival Rate

A new drug may significantly increase survivability for melanoma patients

A new drug to treat melanoma, RG7204, has been shown to provide drastic improvements for the survival rates of patients according to a study and Roche, the makers of the drug.

Designed for treatment of metastatic melanoma, the drug provides a great treatment option for individuals with this deadly skin disease.

As the most aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer, metastatic melanoma typically spreads throughout the entire body. One-year survival rates are less than 25 percent for this disease. Many patients with melanoma experience rapid and uncontrollable cell division. Experts believe this is caused by specific protein mutations in the body, and it causes metastasis.

The drug in this study is proven effective as it can block protein, effectively mitigating the metastasis and improving life expectancy for those with the disease.

For the study, patients either recieved the RG7204 drug or a form of dacarbazine (chemotherapy drug).

Experts warned patients of potential side effects as rash, fatigue, hair loss, and some sensitivity to light.

Preliminary results of the study showed that more than 80 percent of patients who took RG7204 noticed at least partial shrinkage of their cancer tumors, and some even experienced complete shrinkage. This study shocked experts as the typical treatments only show success in upwards of 15 percent of patients.

Complete results of the study are said to be published during 2011 at a conference.