London: Researchers say that a pill that helps slow the spread of advanced skin cancer is showing ‘remarkable’ results in early trials.
The drug, PLX4032, works by inhibiting a `faulty` gene that constantly activates a protein which drives cell division and hence tumour growth.
Of 48 patients treated in the American and Australian study who had the faulty `BRAF` gene, 37 saw their tumours shrink significantly.
In three cases the patients` tumours disappeared altogether.
As the BRAF gene is present in between 40 and 60 per cent of patients with the disease, the new drug could help thousands.
"We have seen many tumours shrink rapidly, and in some patients, quality of life improved dramatically,” the Telegraph quoted Dr Paul Chapman, lead researcher on the study, as saying.
"This is the beginning of personalised medicine in melanoma," Chapman added.
A larger clinical trial is now underway to determine if that is the case.