FDA approves new drug for basal cell skin cancer

A new treatment for the most common type of skin cancer has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug vismodegib, made by Curis and marketed in the US by Roche’s Genentech, will be sold under the brand name Erivedge.

The pill works by inhibiting the so-called hedgehog pathway, a channel that cells use to communicate. When this pathway malfunctions, it is believed to spur the development of basal cell skin cancer and other types of cancer.

Erivedge was approved based on data from a study involving 96 patients with locally advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma. Forty three percent, or 27 out of 63, of patients with locally advanced basal cell cancer saw tumor shrinkage. About 30 percent of patients, or 10 out of 33, with metastatic cancer responded to the drug.

Erivedge is indicated for patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma who are not candidates for surgery or radiation and for patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The drug will cost $7,500 for a month’s supply of once daily capsules.

Basil cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer and considered the most common type of cancer in the United States. It develops on the top layer of skin and is considered curable if detected and treated when the lesions are small.

Source: Fox News