Increasing odds for survival

Monday, June 6, 2011 - 13:20 in Health & Medicine

A duo of drugs, each targeting a prime survival strategy of tumors, can be safely administered and is potentially more effective than either drug alone for advanced, inoperable melanomas, according to a phase 1 clinical trial led by Harvard investigators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The findings were presented in an oral session at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on June 4. The drugs — ipilimumab and bevacizumab — are both monoclonal antibodies, intensified formulations of natural disease-fighting proteins. Ipilimumab spurs the immune system to attack diseased cells, including tumor cells. Bevacizumab, also known by the trade name Avastin, blocks the growth of blood vessels that provide tumors with nourishment. Ipilimumab has extended the lives of metastatic melanoma patients in previous clinical trials, and bevacizumab is often used to treat tumors of the colon, lung, and kidney. The trial involved 22 patients with metatastic melanoma that was not...

Read the whole article on Harvard Science

More from Harvard Science

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net