The New York Times is publishing a series on cancer research and a miracle drug for melanoma. These pics are before and after scans of a melanoma patient only 15 days after taking PLX4032 – a drug that inhibits a BRAF gene mutation and has very little side effects. The drug is in Phase III clinical trials and there are so many people who want to get into the studies that they have had to close the door to people who really need it. Some people on the trial have relapsed and died while others remain free of tumors. But on average it has extended the life expectency of the Stage IV Melanoma patient by 6 months. I am hoping that they open the door for compassionate use after these stories are published. Mike is being tested for the BRAF mutation – present in 50% of melanoma patients – just in case.
New York Times: Part 1 of 3: A Roller Coaster Chase for a Cure
New York Times: Part 2 of 3: After Long Fight, Drug Gives Sudden Reprieve
New York Times: Part 3 of 3: A Drug Trial Cycle: Recovery, Relapse, Reinvention