FDA Approves Yervoy, a new Melanoma Drug

Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers has announced that Yervoy (Ipilimumab) drug has been approved by FDA for the cure of late stage, metastatic melanoma, a life threatening Yervoy approved by FDAskin cancer condition.

Yervoy is the first medication ever shown to help late stage melanoma individuals prolong their lives. However, it does not cure the actual illness. Late stage melanoma is extremely devastating, with a few treatment options for individuals, non of which previously prolonged the person’s life.

In clinical study with about 680 late stage melanomas individuals, whose other types of treatments are failed, and for whom operation was not an option, individuals using Yervoy, survived about ten months after beginning treatment. Individuals, who took an experimental vaccine, lived about 7 months.

Yervoy may also prolong survival, if used as a 1st line treatment for inoperable stage 3 or 4 melanomas. Study’s details will be reported in a June conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The prescription drug Yervoy is a biologic therapy. It is a type of man-made antibody (monoclonal antibody) that blocks a crucial switch on the immune cell, known as CTLA-4. Most similar drugs come with significant side effects, and Yervoy is no exclusion.

Such medication may provoke a powerful autoimmune reaction, where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. In clinical study, about 13% of individuals using Yervoy, had severe or fatal autoimmune reactions. Common side effects connected to Yervoy may include colitis (intestines inflammation), fatigue, skin rush, diarrhea, and hormone deficiencies.

Because of such powerful reactions, the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers had agreed to establish what the FDA calling a mitigation strategy (REMS) and a risk evaluation in order to help oncologists manage and avoid severe side effects to Yervoy.

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