Jun 7, 2010 12:03 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Researchers have announced a huge breakthrough for people with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. A new treatment literally "melts away" the deadly disease for some patients.
The treatment is called Ipilimumab, or "Ipi" for short. It utilizes a protein that helps the immune system attack the disease.
There are drawbacks, however. It only works for 20-30 percent of patients and doctor's can't predict who will respond. It can also trigger rheumatoid arthritis and colitis.
The trial involved almost 700 patients with advanced melanoma. On average they lived three-and-a-half months longer than patients without the treatment.
If you're undergoing cancer treatment, contact the Dorcy Cancer Center at St. Mary Corwin Hospital. Caring doctors and other health professionals will take the time to explain treatment options, and devise specialized programs.