New combo therapy effective against melanoma

New York, Aug 12 (IANS) A novel combination therapy was found to be highly effective at treating patients with melanoma, known as the most serious type of skin cancer.

The researchers found all patients in the study achieved complete clinical response to the treated lesions within one to three months of starting the combination therapy.

“Our results demonstrate that intralesional (injection of medication directly into abnormal skin) therapy with a protein that causes immune cells to divide, given in combination with a topically applied immune activator, can be a highly effective treatment for these patients,” said lead researcher Emanual Maverakis, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, Davis in the US.

For the study, the researchers did a retrospective analysis of patients with either stage three or stage four melanoma who had a history of treatment with the protein Interleukin (IL)-2 therapy combined with a cream called imiquimod and a topical retinoid, a group of compounds having effects on the body like those of vitamin A.

The researcher found that two years after the treatment, 82 percent of patients, out of 11, were alive, and seven were alive at the conclusion of the study without melanoma recurrence.

The rest died from unrelated causes.

The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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