In great news for skin cancer sufferers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the first drug that can help prolong the life of people suffering from melanoma.
Ipilimumab, to be sold as Yervoy, helps the body’s immune system fight the melanoma. Clinical trials have shown that Yervoy can extend a melanoma patient’s life by an average of 10 months with around 20% of those taking treatment during the trial living at least two years.
Melanoma, a particular hazard in Australia (which has the highest rates in the world) can be treated if it’s intercepted early and removed, but becomes mostly incurable once it metastasizes. Traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy have proven inadequate to stop metastatic melanoma, making this new drug a major breakthrough.
The bad news however if you live in the United States is the cost: a complete course of the treatment, which is given four times over three months comes in at a staggering $120,000.