Chicago: When your hair turns white it is usually a sign of old age, but in advanced melanoma patients taking a new type of cancer treatment, it may be a very good sign, researchers said on Saturday. They said Bristol-Myers Squibb`s ipilimumab and Pfizer`s tremelimumab -- two experimental drugs that aim to fight cancer by boosting the immune system -- had the peculiar effect of turning some patients` hair completely white.
Pavlick said it was unclear why patients who respond to the drugs so well lose all of the pigment in their hair. Her team is studying this in hopes of finding ways for more melanoma patients to benefit. A separate study of Bristol-Myers drug ipilimumab released on Saturday found that more than 20 percent of patients with advanced melanoma were alive two years after getting the drug -- compared to the usual nine months. After scores of failed melanoma drugs, Pavlick said she is thrilled to have a compound that helps at least some of her patients. "I think we`re taking a baby step. When you haven`t even been able to crawl for 40 years, that baby step looks like a giant step," she said. Bureau Report
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