This week, Fox News reported on a very exciting milestone in the fight against melanoma. The FDA had gone ahead and approved a new melanoma fighting drug by Merck. This drug is part of a new group of cancer fighting drugs, which use the immune system to fight the cancer. The drug, know as Keytruda, was granted accelerated approval so that patients who were currently out of options could try this new treatment.
The drug is the first in a promising new class of antibody-based drugs that work by taking a brake off the immune system so it can better recognize and attack cancer cells. The drug is designed to help the body’s own immune system fend off cancer by blocking a protein known as Programmed Death receptor (PD-1), or a related target known as PD-L1, used by tumors to evade disease-fighting cells.
Champions of the new treatment believe that this could really help to save the lives of patients who would normally have no answers. They believe that this new drug will change the melanoma fighting game. The FDA’s statement stated that Keytruda helped to shrink tumors in 24% of patients. These patients had advanced melanoma which worsened with prior treatments.
The drug is being coined a “breakthrough therapy” and has been approved nearly two months before its deadline. Competitor Bristol-Meyers Squibb is also working to have a similar drug approved.
We at MoleSafe are excited to hear that patients now have another option in the fight against melanoma.
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