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New Tx for Metastatic Melanoma: PLX4032


melanoma prognosis: good if caught before mets, poor after (9 mo survival)
9,000 pts/yr die of it in US
drugs currently approved to tx metastatic melanoma: interleukin-2 and dacarbazine
benefit less than 20% of pts

experimental anticancer drug: PLX4032
developed by Plexxikon Inc. of Berkeley
licensed to Roche Pharmaceuticals
may help with other cancers that share this mutation

PLX4032 targets BRAF gene that stims tumor growth
about 50% of melanoma pts have mutated gene that won't shut off, BRAF protein produced constantly
drug benefits 80%+ of patients with metastatic melanoma, tho only for about 8 mo no tumor progression
tumors become resistant to the drug

small Phase II clinical trial (n=32 with BRAF mutation)-->larger Phase III trial next
reported in NEJM
drug given oral bid, less SEs than chemo
in 26 pts tumor shrank 30%+, 2 other pts had lesser tumor size reductions, 2 pts had tumors disappear

to enroll in trials at UCLA call (888) 798-0719.

SOURCES
http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-metastatic-melanoma-20100826,0,902715.story?track=rss
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/26/earlyshow/health/main6807346.shtml

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