Scientists Hail Advances on Melanoma, Lung Cancer

New drugs show significant promise for treatment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2010 1:37 PM CDT
Cancer cells.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists say they've made notable progress against two of the most difficult cancers to treat—lung cancer and melanoma, reports the New York Times. On lung cancer, a drug in study of 82 people shrank the tumors of most participants, a result so remarkable that it will be featured at a major oncology forum tomorrow despite the study's small size.

Pfizer has started a bigger trial in hopes of gaining approval of the drug, called crizotnib. In the melanoma study, a drug that allowed the body's immune system to attack the cancer more aggressively helped people in advanced stages live longer. Bristol-Myers Squibb is applying for regulatory approval to sell the drug, ipilimumab. If initial results are borne out, the principle could be used to treat other cancers as well, says the Times.

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