Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

International clinical trial tests targeted drug for melanoma

Date:
November 30, 2010
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Rush University Medical Center has just enrolled the first US patient in an international clinical trial testing a novel drug to treat certain kinds of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer that in its advanced stages currently has few effective treatments.

Rush University Medical Center has just enrolled the first U.S. patient in an international clinical trial testing a novel drug to treat certain kinds of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer that in its advanced stages currently has few effective treatments.

Related Articles


Rather than blocking or killing all rapidly dividing cells, whether malignant or not, the drug, called nilotnib, is one of a new class of agents that have been designed to sabotage aberrant molecules characteristic of individual cancers -- in this case, the c-kit protein.

Dr. Howard Kaufman, director of the Rush University Cancer Center and lead investigator of the study at Rush, said that this kind of "targeted" therapy holds out hope of transforming cancer from a lethal disease into a chronic, but manageable disease.

"For advanced melanoma, there are currently few satisfactory treatments," Kaufman said. "But new targeted therapies, including vaccines, antibodies and small molecules like nilotnib are in clinical trials now, adding to an arsenal of treatments that appear to be promising. This trial is especially significant since the c-kit mutation is found more commonly in melanoma arising from the mucosa and foot, which are historically very difficult types of melanoma to treat."

Nilotnib, marketed by Novartis under the brand name Tasigna, is an oral drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia but is now being tested for the first time for the treatment of melanomas that express the c-kit gene. As a small molecule, nilotnib is able to slip across the cell's membrane and into the machinery inside. There it targets, and turns off, the abnormal c-kit protein, created by a mutated c-kit gene, shutting it down and thus disrupting the relay team of molecular signals the protein participates in that ultimately spur cell growth and cause melanoma lesions to proliferate.

Patients with melanomas expressing a mutated c-kit gene are eligible to participate in the study. These types of melanomas, which typically occur in mucosal tissue, the eye or the foot, are extremely aggressive. The aim of the trial is to determine whether nilotnib can block the growth and spread of this kind of melanoma and extend life.

Participants will receive either nilotnib or dacarbazine, a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat advanced melanoma. Those in the latter group will be able to begin receiving nilotnib if their cancer progresses after dacarbzaine treatment.

Melanoma is a rare but deadly disease whose incidence is rising faster than that of any other solid tumor. According to the National Cancer Institute, there were 68,700 new cases of melanoma in 2009, and more than 8,500 deaths caused by the disease. The cancer typically begins in a mole, but can also lodge in other pigmented tissues, such as in the eye or in the intestines. If caught early, when the disease is superficial, the lesions can easily be removed surgically. But if it advances, the prognosis is poor. Median survival is six months to two years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "International clinical trial tests targeted drug for melanoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130152249.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2010, November 30). International clinical trial tests targeted drug for melanoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130152249.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "International clinical trial tests targeted drug for melanoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130152249.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins