Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is this the cure for (skin) cancer? Ask Dr. Brueck

REPORT ON NEW SKIN THERAPY RX FROM DR. ROBERT BRUECK, MD, FORT MYERS, FL COSMETIC SURGEON.

Researchers continue to unlock the magic key to find “the cure.” Humans are plagued with many cancers. One that is very resistant to treatment in later stages is melanoma, one of three varieties of skin cancer.

An early small clinical trial in the treatment of advanced melanoma is using an attack on the melanoma cells using their own genetic characteristics. 9 of 16 patients with advanced melanoma responded to a drug known as PLX4032. These tumors that responded had a mutation or abnormality in a gene for the protein BRAF which plays a crucial role in melanomas growth and spread.

The broader picture here is that scientists now can examine the genetic make-up of certain cancers and develop therapies to combat the cancer based on the cancers genetic design.

BRAF is essential to the growth of certain cancers. So developing drugs to inhibit or shut off this gene will lead to less tumor growth.

How long will the effects of these new genetic drugs last?

Many questions remain but new hope lies on the horizon.

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