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FDA Approves New Skin Cancer Drug First Tested in Arizona by Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen
Date:2/1/2012

umor growth in these patients with advanced skin cancer," said Daniel Von Hoff, MD, lead investigator. Dr. Von Hoff is physician-in-chief at TGen and chief scientific officer at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, where cancer patients receive treatment with promising new drugs.

"The drug works by inhibiting the Hedgehog pathway that is active in most basal cell cancers, preventing development, growth and survival of certain cancer cells. Results showed a durable clinical benefit – tumor shrinkage visible on X-ray or other physical exam or improvement in symptoms without tumor growth," said Glen Weiss, MD, director of Thoracic Oncology at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and Clinical Associate Professor and Translational Physician Scientist at TGen.

Patient response during the clinical trials was assessed through physical examination and imaging. "Integrating genomic data with state-of-the-art clinical and imaging information to develop and apply targeted therapies has certainly taken a major step forward with the encouraging results from the Hedgehog trial," added Ron Korn, MD, a radiologist and medical director of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare.

San Francisco-based Genentech developed Vismodegib. Successful results of early clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Johns Hopkins University and Karmanos Cancer Institute were published in the Sept. 17, 2009 New England Journal of Medicine and led to interest in increased access to the drug.

"In some patients there is progression to life-threatening, locally advanced or metastatic tumors. Approved as a pill to be taken once a day, we believe this new drug represents an opportunity to improve quality of life for these patients," said Dr. Weiss.

Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical trials at the Virginia G.
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SOURCE Scottsdale Healthcare
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