Rarely is the phrase “good news” associated with the deadly form of cancer known as melanoma, but recent research, indicating two new drugs that have been found to prolong survival in advanced cases of melanoma, definitely qualifies. Yervoy, an immune suppressant gained FDA-approval in March, while the other drug, vemurafenib, which inhibits gene mutation, is still awaiting approval although clinical trials are showing unprecedented promise.
In the clinical trial, 675 patients with advanced melanoma were randomly assigned to treatments of the traditional chemotherapy treatment, dicarbazine, or vemurafenib. After only three months, it was discovered that patients receiving vemurafenib were 63 percent less likely to die and 74 percent less likely to die or see their cancer return. While they may not be cures, researchers are hopeful they may bring us one step closer to finding one.