Wed, Aug 23, 2017 | updated 04:22 AM IST

New drug can extends the life span of Melanoma patients

Updated: Oct 01, 2016 14:55 IST      
New drug can extends the life span of Melanoma patients

London [England], Oct. 1 (ANI): An advance drug that utilizes a human-made virus to treat later stage skin cancer, Melanoma has been approved for use.

The novel medicine, which doubles average survival time for people with inoperable melanoma, is to be provided to patients for whom other drugs do not work, after NHS (National Health Service) recommended it for immediate use, reports Daily Mail.

The therapy, known as T-VEC, works by infecting and killing cancer cells with a genetically-modified form of the herpes virus.

The drug also harnesses the power of the body's own immune system and directs it against tumours.

Remarkably, it does this without harming healthy human cells, as a result having fewer side effects than chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.

Trials led by the Institute of Cancer Research in London showed that terminally-ill patients treated with the fortnightly injections lived for an average of 41 months.

Patients treated with another modern drug, an immunotherapy which until now was considered one of the best treatments for metastatic skin cancer, only lived for 21 months.

Rates of the disease have shot up by 360 per cent since the 1970s in UK, which experts blame on the rise of cheap package holiday deals and sunbathing.

Lead researcher Kevin Harrington said, "It is very exciting news that NICE has approved T-VEC for patients with advanced melanoma, making it the first of its kind to be

approved for use on the NHS. This is the culmination of ten years' work on this agent."

"T-VEC is a modified form of the herpes virus and kills cancer cells in two ways - by attacking them directly and by directing the patient's own immune system against the tumour. The treatment has not only been shown to be effective, but has relatively mild side-effects making it particularly suitable for patients who can't be given some of the other immunotherapies on the market," he added.

Scientists developed T-VEC by modifying the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, to attack cancer cells but be harmless to healthy cells.

It multiplies within cancer cells and bursts them from within, but scientists removed two key genes so that the virus cannot replicate in non-cancerous cells.

T-VEC also releases a molecule which stimulates the immune system to attack the cancer, resulting in a twin attack from inside and outside the cancer cells.

Initially it has been approved for use for patients with inoperable malignant melanoma, for whom immunotherapy drugs would not work.

Roughly 100 patients a year are expected to benefit at first, but this number may rise in the future if it is judged to be suitable for use at an earlier stage.

John Kearney, from the drugs company, which sells the drug under the brand name Imlygic, said, "Melanoma still takes too many lives each year. New medicines based on cutting-edge science, such as Imlygic, are playing their part in improving the ways that doctors and the health service as a whole can help people affected in the future."

"The scientists who invented and developed the technology leading to Imlygic really deserve to be remembered and celebrated today - as a company, they make us very proud," he added. (ANI)

Night-time symptoms- The lesser known side of COPD

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 15:47 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 22 (ANI): Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a condition that damages the lung airways causing a range of symptoms like chest tightness, breathlessness, wheezing and persistent cough, is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the country.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 22 (ANI): Not many are aware of the fact that India is on the edge of becoming the 'Diabetes Capital of the World' overtaking China, which earlier had the largest number of diabetics.

Full Story >>

Using quality stents is of utmost importance: Experts

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 10:35 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 22 (ANI): Stents are a powerful tool in the fight against heart disease and specialists have emphasised on the need of using quality stents for best patient outcomes.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): There may be no magical solution treating liver cancer or fatty liver disease, but knowing the right targets will help science develop the most effective treatments.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): According to a recent research, a group of researchers have found and validated a practical tool for identifying diabetes patients who are at the highest risk for being admitted to an emergency department or hospital due to severe hypoglycemia, or very low blood sugar.

Full Story >>

Study reveals potential target for alcohol liver disease

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 08:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): In a recent research, the scientists have found a new protective response in the organ that might be targeted to help treat alcoholic liver disease.

Full Story >>

Mussel-inspired glue promises safer fetal surgery

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 09:04 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 21 (ANI): Whether to perform surgery on a fetus is a heart-wrenching decision, but now, a team of researchers has come up with glue that could one day make the procedures safer.

Full Story >>

Turns out, sugars in breastmilk keep bacteria at bay

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 07:59 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 21 (ANI): Mother's milk, which consists of a complex and continually changing blend of proteins, fats and sugars, helps protect babies against bacterial infections.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 20 (ANI): Good news! Now an eye test can predict Alzheimer's disease two decades prior to symptoms emergence, claims a new study.

Full Story >>

Dengue: what you should know

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 07:01 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): Dengue, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, causes about 50 to 100 million infections per year worldwide. According to the statistics by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, India has recorded over 33, 964 cases of dengue in 2017 so far.

Full Story >>

Quashing the claim against antidepressants

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 09:39 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): A recent study has rebutted the claim that antidepressants do not work.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): Turns out, smokers are 20 percent more likely to quit if cigarettes cost a dollar more.

Full Story >>

New HIV-tracking approach paves way for better therapies

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 08:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a novel method of tracking HIV infection that could help lead to the development of novel therapies.

Full Story >>

Vitamin C may help genes to kill blood cancer stem cells

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 07:13 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): Good news! A study has recently revealed that vitamin C may tell faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

Full Story >>

Vitamin D deficiency ups heart failure risk in older adults

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 07:07 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): You may advise your grandparents to include dairy products, orange juice, soy milk and cereals in their diet, as a study has recently warned that vitamin D deficiency was linked with a 12.2-times increased risk of heart failure in older adults, especially men.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): A new study suggests that the smallpox vaccine might actually have come from horses, not cows.

Full Story >>

Sedentary urban life responsible for piles in youth

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 19:24 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Every year, almost 10 million people in India suffer from the pain of piles, a disease that is spreading fast due to stress, insomnia, constipation, and a growing inclination for fast food in the sedentary lifestyle of urbanites. Various studies suggest that every second individual in the world comes across piles at some point between 45 to 65 years of, and a large number of women experience piles (haemorrhoids) during pregnancy. The most alarming concern, however, is that teens and youths in their early twenties are also experiencing piles these days, and there is an urgent need to inculcate good food habits to combat the problem timely.

Full Story >>

All you need to know about Swine Flu

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 19:09 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Being a transferable disease, Swine Flu induces a panic in all of us whenever it infects even a single person. No one is invincible, but we can always practice better caution and cure.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): Onco-surgeons at a Delhi-based hospital recently performed a highly risky and laborious surgery on a 39-year-old Russian patient, Emil Abdullaev.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): The Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Lav Aggarwal, gave a presentation on the National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases to Justice Manmohan in the Delhi High Court and highlighted the important aspects.

Full Story >>