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New England Journal of Medicine hails new skin cancer drug as 'greatest advance yet'
Date:6/13/2012

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. June 12, 2012 Vismodegib, a new skin cancer drug for patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma tested by TGen, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and Mayo Clinic, is hailed as "the greatest advance in therapy yet seen" for advanced basal cell carcinoma in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Vismodegib (marketed under the name Erivedge) was administered for the first time in the world on Jan. 23, 2007 in a Phase I clinical trial at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

This is the first drug tested under the Scottsdale Healthcare-TGen partnership to receive FDA approval, and is the first to receive FDA approval to treat inoperable basal cell carcinoma. Successful early trial results led to additional study sponsored by Genentech.

The successful Phase I study at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, headed by Scottsdale Healthcare Chief Scientific Officer and TGen Physician-In-Chief Daniel Von Hoff, M.D, led to a broader study, published June 7 by the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The first patient put on this drug had advanced basal cell cancer, so we suspected that the tumor had the mutation this drug is targeted against," said Ramesh K. Ramanathan, M.D., Medical Director at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and Clinical Professor and Deputy Director of the Clinical Translational Research Division at TGen. "And our partnership with Dr. Ronald Korn and his team who did advanced PET imaging helped to really demonstrate the drug's efficacy for Genentech to continue pursuing the additional study."

The follow-up study, a Phase 2 clinical trial of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), was headed by Dr. Aleksandar Sekulic, Assistant Professor of Dermatology for the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and an A
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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