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Related terms: cutaneous APUDoma, primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin, trabecular carcinoma of the skin

Drug Shows Promise Against Rare, Aggressive Skin Cancer

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – A newer drug that boosts the immune system's ability to kill tumor cells may help people with a rare, aggressive form of skin cancer, a preliminary study suggests. The intravenous drug, marketed as Keytruda, is already used to treat some advanced cases of melanoma, another dangerous form of skin cancer. The new study tested it against a skin tumor called Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). Most people have probably never heard of the cancer, but MCC is deadlier than melanoma, said Dr. Paul Nghiem, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, who led the new study. When the disease reaches an advanced stage, chemotherapy is an option – but not a good one, Nghiem said. "Chemotherapy will often shrink the cancer," he said. "But it comes back quickly, and even angrier." Plus, chemo can take a toll on the immune system. "And that's a very bad idea in these ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma

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