New Melanoma Treatment Hits Market

A combination treatment from GlaxoSmithKline for  melanoma, the deadliest  form of skin cancer, has won accelerated  approval from U.S. regulators.
The green light for the combined use of Tafinlar, also known as   dabrafenib, and Mekinist, or trametinib, from the Food and Drug  Administration  (FDA) is the first of its kind for a form of the disease  with a specific  genetic profile.
Both drugs are already approved for separate use but GSK believes  they  will have a longer-lasting effect if given together. Industry  analysts also see  a combination offering the greatest commercial  potential.
Tafinlar, which is similar to Roche’s rival medicine Zelboraf, is  designed  to work in patients with a mutation of a gene known as BRAF.  So-called BRAF  inhibitors have been remarkably effective in shrinking  melanoma tumors but most  patients eventually develop resistance to the  drugs.
By combining Tafinlar with Mekinist, which works in a different way, the  hope is that the cancer will be held at bay for longer.
The FDA approval, which was announced late on Wednesday, covers the   treatment of melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery or which has  spread to  other organs.
Melanoma is diagnosed in nearly 160,000 people worldwide each year.  It can  spread quickly to internal organs and average survival is six to  nine  months.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters.  All rights reserved.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s