51% of stage III and IV melanoma patients that participated in a phase II trial benefited from a new cancer drug.
These statistics suggest that this drug has great potential for treating certain cancers in the future.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and has about a 24% 10 year survival rate in the last phase of stage III and 10 – 15% in stage IV.
The study was published yesterday in the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology stated that PV-10 was injected directly into the lesions of 62 patients with stage III melanoma and 18 patients with stage IV melanoma. The injections were made up to four times during the sixteen week period.
In the patients that had a positive reaction to the drug, about half saw at least a 30% cancer reduction. The other 26% drug saw a total disappearance of the cancer during the sixteen week treatment period.
28 of the patients were able to have all of their disease treated, 50% of them ended the treatment period with no signs of the disease.
The drug even shrank cancerous lesions in areas not directly treated.
In a majority of patients, the side effects occurred only at the site. The side effects were described and being mild to moderate and didn’t go beyond temporary pain.
After the treatment period, researcher observed the patients for 36 more weeks. The cancer recurred in a majority of the patients who saw a total disappearance of the cancer during the treatment period. This recurrence is described as the nature of refractory cutaneous and subcutaneous metastatic melanoma.
Fortunately at the end of the 52 weeks, 8% of patients still displayed no evidence of cancer. This result suggests that the drug can produce efficient results.
Researchers involved in the study say that the response to the treatment was rapid and dramatic with a high rate of total eradication. They do believe that some patients may have benefited from more treatment; however they would need to prove this.
Researchers are hopeful that PV-10 may be a viable treatment option for many patients with aggressive, late stage, locally advanced melanoma.