Ashani Weeraratna, an assistant professor in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, agreed that the combo therapy does seem to reduce the skin lesion side effects.
"This is important for patients that, in addition to battling a deadly disease, also have to deal with the discomfort associated with the secondary lesions," Weeraratna said. "Having said that, I do think most of us would pick getting what is essentially an uncomfortable rash over not receiving a cutting-edge therapy that might eradicate our metastatic melanoma."
Dr. Martin Weinstock, a professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University in Providence, R.I., expressed some caution. "Ideally, what we need is to figure out how to cure most people with a regimen that doesn't have devastating side effects," he said. "We don't have that yet, and it doesn't look like this will be that either."
The results were scheduled for release Wednesday, prior to presentation June 4 at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists in Chicago. The data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The study was funded by the drug company GlaxoSmithKline, and Weber has received financial support from the pharmaceutical company.
For more about melanoma, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Martin Weinstock, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology and epidemiology, Brown University, Providence, R.I.; Ashani T. Weeraratna, Ph.D., assistant professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program, Wistar Institute, Philadelphia; May 16, 2012, abstract, news release, American Society of Clinical Oncologists
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