Washington: For all those people who are suffering from the deadly skin cancer melanoma, the invention of a drug that can prolong lives might bring some relief.The drug, hailed as the first to prolong the lives of patients suffering from the deadly skin cancer, is a step closer to being made widely available.Yervoy (ipilimumab) has been awarded a European licence, which means patients in the UK can access it, although it has not yet been approved for use on the NHS.The drug is the first treatment since the 1970s for advanced melanoma in patients, which have previously received another therapy.Data from a clinical trial showed that 46 per cent of patients treated with the drug were still alive after one year compared to 25 per cent receiving another treatment.Ipilimumab stimulates the body`s own immune system to fight cancer and patients receive one infusion every three weeks for a total of four infusions.
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