Scientists Aim To Help The Immune System Attack Melanoma

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Researchers investigating ways of prompting the immune system to recognise and kill tumour cells have found that a drug containing parts of the diptheria toxin appears to work well in patients with advanced melanoma (skin cancer).

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In the first part of a phase II clinical trial to test the drug denileukin diftitox (also known as DAB(389)IL2 or ONTAK) in melanoma, five out of seven patients with stage IV disease experienced significant regression or stabilisation of both tumours and metastases. The two other patients in whom the disease progressed were on a lower dose of the drug. All the patients are still alive after 12 months.

Dr Jason Chesney, associate director for translational research at the JG Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA, told a news briefing at the EORTC-NCI-AACR

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