Washington: Researchers at University of East Anglia (UEA) and Children`s Hospital Boston have made a breakthrough discovery that promises an effective new treatment for one of the deadliest forms of cancer.The researchers found that leflunomide - a drug commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis – also inhibits the growth of malignant melanoma.
And when leflunomide is used in combination with PLX4720, a promising new melanoma therapy currently undergoing clinical trials, the effect was even more powerful – leading to almost complete block of tumour growth.The next stage is for clinical trials to be conducted into the use of leflunomide to fight melanoma. Because leflunomide is already licensed to treat arthritis, this process should be faster than usual and a new treatment for melanoma could be available within around five years."This is a really exciting discovery – making use of an existing drug specifically to target melanoma," said Dr Grant Wheeler, of UEA`s School of Biological Sciences."Deaths from melanoma skin cancer are increasing and there is a desparate need for new, more effective treatments. We are very optimistic that this research will lead to novel treatments for melanoma tumours which, working alongside other therapies, will help to stop them progressing." The study has been reported in the March 24 edition of the journal Nature. ANI
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