New Treatment Approved for Most Common Type of Skin Cancer
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Genentech’s™ (vismodegib) for the treatment of adults with basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body, that has come back after surgery, or that their healthcare provider decides cannot be treated with surgery or radiation. Erivedge, a capsule that is taken orally once a day, is the first FDA-approved medicine for people with advanced forms of basal cell carcinoma.
The safety and effectiveness of Erivedge was evaluated in a clinical study of 96 people with locally advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma. Of the study participants with metastatic disease receiving Erivedge, 30 percent experienced a partial response, and 43 percent of participants with locally advanced disease experienced a complete or partial response.
Erivedge is being approved with a boxed warning alerting users and healthcare professionals of the potential risk of severe birth defects or death to a fetus. Pregnancy status must be verified prior to the start of Erivedge treatment. Both males and females starting this drug should be warned about these risks and the need for birth control.
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This article was originally published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, March/April 2012.