Sat, Mar 25, 2017 | updated 03:29 AM IST

New drug can extends the life span of Melanoma patients

Updated: Oct 01, 2016 14:55 IST

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)

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Continuing its efforts to raise awareness on tuberculosis and its diagnosis, Division of Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS, and BD (Becton Dickinson India) for the third consecutive year organized a symposium today on "challenges in diagnosis and eradication of tuberculosis".

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): On the solemn occasion of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, Members of Parliament, policymakers, TB patients, survivors, and citizens of the civil society gathered at India Gate on Thursday, March 23 to pay tribute to the nearly five lakh lives lost due to this disease last year.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Emergence of multi drug resistant TB and complications aggravated by high rates of co-infection with HIV-AIDS has renewed the threat of TB epidemic in India. With widespread prevalence of the infection, children experience a serious risk of contracting Tuberculosis, especially if they are under-nourished.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Tuberculosis can affect any age, caste or class and it is one of the top 10 causes of death across the globe, ranking above HIV and malaria.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death across the globe, ranking above HIV and malaria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015, there were 10.4 million new cases of TB worldwide.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 23 (ANI): Want happy families? Then delay your decision to start a family, as a study suggests, children born to older mother experience have fewer behavioural, social and emotional problems.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 23 (ANI): For women, stay fit and maintain a healthy weight, as a study finds a higher waist-to-hip ratios increases the risk of ovarian cancer risk by more than a fifth.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 23 (ANI): A study finds that people who are born blind have heightened sense of hearing, smell and touch, suggesting that their brain "rewires" itself in the absence of visual information to boost other senses.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): For those suffering with age-related (degenerative) arthritis of the knee, a stage comes when all the reasonable non-operative options stops working.

Full Story >>

Hepatitis drug can help cut Ebola death rate

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 09:30 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A class of drugs used to treat hepatitis and some forms of multiple sclerosis has shown promise in treating Ebola.

Full Story >>

Weekend surgery 'not riskier'

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 09:20 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): Day of the week has no impact on the survival chances of people undergoing emergency surgery, a new research has found.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): Despite existing prevention methods, transmission of infections with HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis or rubella from mother to child before and during birth as well as in infancy still occur across Europe.

Full Story >>

Changes in blood may spur Alzheimer's disease

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 07:29 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A recent study has linked changes in the vascular system to Alzheimer's disease.

Full Story >>

Spraying onto broken hearts to heal them

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 06:45 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A team of scientist has come up with a new method that may make the heart surgeries a history.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): With both tourism and casual "hookup" sex on the rise among college-age adults, there's an urgent need for gender-sensitive and age-appropriate sexual health campaigns that are tailored to young women's motivations for taking sexual risks while travelling, a new study has suggested.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 21 (ANI): Now, detecting a mosquito-borne illness will be as easy as clicking a smartphone app - thanks to a team of scientists.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 21 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed some light on how infections during pregnancy may interfere with the genes linked to prenatal brain development.

Full Story >>

Soon, a faster way to treat depression

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 16:02 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 21 (ANI): A new and faster way to treat depression has come closer to reality - thanks to a team of scientists.

Full Story >>

All you need to know on Colorectal Cancer!

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 08:00 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 21 (ANI): Colorectal cancer is also known as colon cancer, bowel cancer. It refers to a cancerous growth, lump or a tumour in the colon and the rectum. It is the second most common cancer, after adenocarcinoma.

Full Story >>

Prevent yourself from chronic kidney disease!

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 07:50 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 21 (ANI): Each person normally has two kidneys, which are about the size of a fist and are located on either side of the spine at the level of waist.

Full Story >>