Incredible One-Dose Cancer Treatment May Revolutionise How We Treat Melanoma
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, with 13’000 new cases diagnosed each year and an average of 2’000 deaths per year in the UK alone. Sun safe campaigns have brought the matter to people’s attention, but due to years of skin neglect it is predicted that we have not yet reached our peak for diagnoses.
With that in mind, the new research coming out of the Moffitt Cancer Centre is even more important. Researchers there are working on PV-10 a compound found in Rose Bengal, a water-soluble dye that is most commonly used to stain damaged eye cells during surgical procedures. The PV-10 is injected straight into the affected tumorous area and can be applied to multiple sites at once with few side effects to the patient.
Early trials in mice have shown that just one dose of PV-10 to their disease sites has brought about a strengthened immune response as well as a reduction in lesions and a decrease in the size of secondary tumours found in the lungs. The injections appeared to bringing about an antitumor immune response. This is the holy grail to clinical researchers; getting the patient’s own body to fight back against the cancer. Such treatments mean fewer side effects and higher survival rates, but can be tricky to develop. The good thing about PV-10 is the fact it has been available for many years and we are well-documented as to its effects in the human body.
Provectus Pharmaceuticals have taken on the research in their clinical studies and are currently halfway through their first human clinical trial, based in the US & Australia. To be included on the trial, patients had to have at least one melanoma lesion >0.2cm in diameter. The injection is administered straight into the lesion; some sufferers on the trial have had one or two lesion sites left untreated to provide a comparison. Further treatment is provided at the Principal Investigator’s discretion, but initial results seem to be very pleasing and indicate a positive effect on the patient’s recovery.
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