Drug boosts survival in major skin cancer study - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Drug boosts survival in major skin cancer study

CHICAGO (AP) - Researchers say they have their first big win against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

An experimental drug has significantly improved survival in a major study of people with very advanced melanoma.

The drug is called ipilimumab, (ip-ee-LIM-uh-mab), and is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has pledged to give it quick review, and doctors think it could be available by the end of this year.

The drug works by helping the immune system fight cancer.

In the study, 24 percent of people given the drug were alive after two years versus only 14 percent of those given another immune-boosting treatment.

Doctors presented the results Saturday at a conference in Chicago.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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