Combination therapy significantly slows melanoma growth, study shows

July 3, 2007

Rochester, Minn. - Preliminary findings of a study conducted by Mayo Clinic and North and Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) researchers suggest that two chemotherapy drugs combined with an agent that prevents the growth of blood vessels can significantly delay the spread of tumors in patients with metastatic melanoma.

Rochester, Minn. - Preliminary findings of a study conducted by Mayo Clinic and North and Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) researchers suggest that two chemotherapy drugs combined with an agent that prevents the growth of blood vessels can significantly delay the spread of tumors in patients with metastatic melanoma.

In a clinical trial of 53 patients, the researchers combined two chemotherapy drugs - paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin - with bevacizumab, a drug that prevents the formation of new blood vessels. The study shows that tumor growth was delayed by almost six months, as compared with the typical eight weeks that these cancers begin to spread again after chemotherapy treatment.

The patients were treated with carboplatin, weekly treatments of paclitaxel and biweekly bevacizumab. The study stresses that while the findings are promising, they are preliminary and that further research must be conducted.

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and presented at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.