The Melanoma Letter Winter 2011, Vol. 29, No. 3

This issue of The Melanoma Letter focuses on two important new classes of melanoma drugs. The first story concerns a defective gene called cKit found in certain advanced melanoma patients. Drugs such as imatinib are being designed to target c-Kit, thereby offering hope of controlling metastatic melanomas that harbor the defect. The second story focuses on the recently FDA-approved drug pegylated interferon-alfa 2b, a refined version of the long-existing melanoma drug called interferon-alfa 2b. Designed to produce fewer side effects than the original and thus allow greater amounts to be used, its purpose is to prevent dangerous recurrences in patients who have had thick tumors and possibly lymph nodes removed.

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