Scientists have announced the development of a new pill which could help melanoma patients in the future, but experts are warning that there is no place for complacency or relying on treatment – the best defence against skin cancer is to avoid sun exposure.
The drugs are thought to work by hitting several cancer cell survival routes at once, suppressing tumours. The medication is being developed for advanced skin cancer patients, who can become resistant to standard drugs in less than a year, as well as those with a specific strain of cancer.
Professor Caroline Springer, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, who co-led a study, said:
Melanomas often respond initially to the current generation of treatments, but they inevitably acquire resistance to them, and there is a desperate need for more effective options.
Our new inhibitors are the first in a new family of drugs that attack cancers without allowing them the get-out clause of drug resistance, by blocking multiple cancer proteins at once.
We are very hopeful that clinical trials from this series of new inhibitors will begin very soon – and that they will ultimately become new first or second-line options for patients who, at the moment, exhaust all the available treatments and end up with fatal disease.
However, it is likely to be years before the pills are available for use, as clinical trials for safety and dosage are scheduled for 2016.
Even then, surgery will remain the first treatment option for the majority of patients.
The Facts about Melanoma
- Also known as malignant skin cancer
- Affects around 13,000 people in the UK each year, resulting in over 2,000 deaths
- Triggered by short, sharp bursts of sunlight
- Those who have had sunburn at least five times are at double the risk of the disease
Avoiding Skin Cancer
Mole Removal Surgery
Cosmedics’ team of doctors offer mole surgery for aesthetic/cosmetic reasons, using a variety of techniques. Laser mole treatment is popular for smaller lesions as it is quick, pain-free and minimises scarring. For larger moles, surgery is usually the best option with shave excision or ellipse excision (with stitches).
All moles are tested as a matter of course and a full histology report gives peace of mind even when there was no need for concern.
Call 020 7386 0464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.