Study: Combo Melanoma Therapy Ineffective

PITTSBURGH, June 8 (UPI) — A U.S. study suggests a combination of two chemotherapies and a previously approved treatment for kidney and liver cancers is not effective against melanoma.

“With each new study, we learn something important about the treatment of melanoma,” said Dr. John Kirkwood, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who led the research. “With this study, we learned that the addition of sorafenib, a molecular inhibitor, to a traditional chemotherapy regimen does not improve patient survival.”

The 34-month, phase III trial involved 823 patients from seven different U.S. sites. Patients either received the chemotherapy combination alone or with sorafenib.

“While this study didn’t confirm the very promising results of phase II studies with sorafenib, it is important to share its findings since the double chemotherapy combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel has achieved results that eclipse previous chemotherapy results in large phase III trials,” Kirkwood said. “These results take us one step closer to understanding how to most effectively treat metastatic melanoma.”

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that causes most skin-cancer-related deaths. Only two therapies have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of advanced melanoma, and neither has been shown to prolong survival.

The research was presented Saturday in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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