Pharmaceutical

Melanoma drug proves superior in clinical trials

melanoma Melanoma drug proves superior in clinical trialsMerck & Co.’s cancer drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was superior in treating patients of advanced melanoma in phase III clinical trials compared to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Yervoy (ipilimumab).

Keytruda is in a class of cancer drugs known as PD-1 inhibitors. It is currently approved for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma, and in patients whose disease has progressed after the use of the standard treatment, Yervoy.

The positive results of the latest trial of Keytruda is good news for the large number of patients worldwide with skin cancer. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer because it can be aggressive and fast growing. About 76,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to survival. About 9,700 people die from the disease annually.

There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing melanoma, including exposure to UV light such as from the sun or tanning beds, moles, genetics, fair skin, and personal history of any type of skin cancer. Some medications can also increase the risk of melanoma.

Recent studies have linked the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra with a highly increased risk of melanoma. The drug works on the same genetic pathways as melanoma, making it more aggressive. Men who currently use or who have ever used Viagra are advised to use extra protection while in the sun and avoid excessive sun exposure.

Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are currently investigating cases of melanoma in men who have used Viagra.

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