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FDA Approved Pill Shrinks Skin Cancer
Researchers in Colorado helped lay the groundwork for a new drug therapy that’s offering hope for melanoma patients.
In 2005, Dave Brown had a lump removed. It was melanoma. After annual checkups that all came back clean he thought he was out of the woods for cancer.
But in December 2010, the melanoma was back and this time in Dave’s bloodstream.
"I was having a hard time breathing. Most of the cancer was on my liver and spleen and I had a spot on my lungs," he said.
But timing was on Dave’s side. A clinical trial of a two-drug therapy was just beginning.
The therapy involved a two drug combination and it blocks different melanoma growth pathways, according to oncologist Karl Lewis of the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
Dave has gotten a checkup and medications, which include a two pill combo, every four weeks for the past three years. He says a routine that has kept him alive.
"It's a miracle drug and I had somebody in my corner looking after me," Dave said.
The drug combo was FDA approved last month and studies are underway on other promising melanoma treatments.
The combination treatment is so new that no one can say what the long term outcome will be. Researchers are always testing new encouraging melanoma therapies that could offer another treatment option.
Three years later, Dave is still not cancer free but it is 85 percent gone.