United States - Laboratory Genentech, a subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical group Roche has published results of a clinical trial of a new experimental treatment against cancer of the skin. This would reduce significantly the advanced tumors.
The drug GDC-0449 blocks the protein hedgehog which promotes the growth of cancer cells. It was obtained through genetic modification on the CYCLOPAMINE contained in the plant Veratrum californicum. The CYCLOPAMINE inhibits and blocks the ability of renewing cancer stem cells.
The trial focused on thirty-three patients suffering from skin cancer. After taking the oral treatment, eighteen patients showed tumor shrinkage or improvement of symptoms and eleven had their condition stabilized. On a patient suffering from brain cancer, treatment has also enabled the reduction of the tumor.
Doctors Genentech show no side effects were observed and highlight the advances made this treatment. Dr. Von Hoff Institute of Clinical Research of Scottsdale said: "There was previously no treatment that can effectively slow tumor growth in patients suffering from advanced cancer of the skin. With the 'use of a specific cancer and targeted to a particular type of cancer, this study offers an enormous potential to combat medulloblastoma and other cancers. "