London scientists may have developed a cure for cancer. Melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, and the new pill can potentially treat the deadly condition.
Known as RG7204, the drug was given to melanoma patients with a known tumor. Scientists report that the tumors of the patients shrunk as much as 80 percent after the drug was administered. The scientists are from the Royal Marsden National Health Service Trust, based out of London, England.
The head scientist in charge of the study, Dr. James Larkin, said, “This is an incredibly exciting breakthrough. With growing incidence of melanoma in younger people, the results of this trial are very encouraging.”
The breakthrough drug targets the mutated gene in the patients and shrinks the cancerous tumors. The mutated gene is called BRAF.
“It’s a very difficult cancer to treat once it’s spread – not since the 1970s has there been a significant breakthrough in malignant melanoma,” continued Larkin.
About 68,000 Americans have been diagnosed with melanoma, and over 2 million are afflicted by non-melanoma skin cancer.
Larkin has hopes that testing will be completed this year and that the drug will be publicly available sometime in 2012.