The FDA approved a fast review of  a new Melanoma drug used in a clinical trial at 125 U.S. cancer centers.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Aug. 19, shows about 23 percent of the patients given ipilimumab are alive two years later, compared with 14 percent of those who did not receive the drug. Those taking ipilimumab lived a median of about 10 months, compared with 6.4 months for those who didn’t take it.
“This shows us you can stimulate the immune system to fight cancer, something that’s always been a general belief, but with the exception of bone marrow transplants, we haven’t been able to do,” said Dr. Andrew Pecora, chairman and executive administrative director of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the study locations. “It’s really profound and opens a whole new avenue.”

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