23 Feb '12, 9am

Cancer drug nearly doubles survival time: study

Cancer drug nearly doubles survival time: study

WASHINGTON: A new drug to treat advanced skin cancer, or metastatic melanoma, has been shown to nearly double average survival time in a study of more than 130 patients, researchers said on Wednesday. Made by Genentech, a US subsidiary of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, the drug, Zelboraf, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in August 2011, making it the first new treatment for melanoma in 13 years. The latest study, an intermediate phase II trial whose results are published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed 132 patients at 13 medical sites in the United States and Australia. Study subjects survived an average of 15.9 months, when typical survival among people whose melanoma has spread to other organs is about nine months, it said. "We knew this drug would make the melanomas shrink in a large proportion of patients and that it worked be...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/health/view/118478...

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