A recent research, which was carried out by a team of researchers from the University of California, Roche and Daiichi Sankyo's Plexxikon, has revealed that Roche Holding's pill Zelboraf taken frequently by melanoma patients can result in imparting high risk of developing a rare and less harmful type of skin cancer, dubbed cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
It has been revealed that melanoma patients have a mutation known as BRAF, which is curable with the help of vemurafenib. However, most of them further develop a type of skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Doctors told that the disease thus developed has to be cured with the aid of surgery.
A research was then conducted by the team of researchers, wherein they enrolled malignant melanoma patients who had got vemurafenib during clinical trials. It was carried out in order to study squamous cell cancer tissue, and to find out the reason of the disease developed after taking the medicine.
The study led them to conclude that in actual, the drugs were not tumour promoters. In fact, more than half of the cases were of RAS mutations, which are probably caused by exposure to the sun. Also, these mutations, when come in contact with the BRAF inhibitors, start growing. In addition, they told that a MEK inhibitor treatment could block this side effect.
Their research has moreover led them to find out that a blend of Zelboraf, which helps in blocking BRAF mutation, and another drug MEK that is for blocking RAS mutation, can help to solve the problem. They analyzed and revealed that the twosome is much more effective than preferring the drugs separately and also has lesser side effects as well.
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