New skin cancer pills ‘can shrink tumours by up to 50pc’

July 24th, 2010 - 5:45 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 24 (ANI): Scientists have developed two daily pills, which can halt skin cancer in its tracks by shrinking tumours, even in the most advanced stages.

The drugs target the harmful protein, which causes the tumours to grow in the first place.

By effectively disabling this protein, they stop the spread of cancer-and even reverse its growth - although they will not eradicate tumours altogether.

Researchers at the drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline have found that each of the two types of pills can reduce the number of cancerous cells by up to 50 per cent.

However, they believe that if patients were to take both tablets simultaneously, the treatment could be even more effective.

“These are very compelling results. Research has been very disappointing over the last few decades but it seems we are finally making progress. What we have seen is impressive activity in a very clear patient population,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Peter Lebowitz, vice president of clinical development at GSK, who carried out the research, as saying.

“What we want to do now is see the effects of these two drugs taken in combination. We don’t yet have the answers but we believe they will be very promising,” he added.

The researchers conducted a series of trials of the two pills on 80 patients with advanced skin cancer.

They found that more than half of patients who took the first drug, called Braf 436, saw their tumours reduced by at least 20 per cent.

Tumours also shrank in more than half of patients who took a second pill, Mek 183. In a quarter of patients they reduced in size by 50 per cent. (ANI)

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