We’ve heard of melanoma, but we haven’t heard enough about ways to stop it in its tracks. When caught early enough, it’s treatable; but if not, it can spread and make treatment much more difficult, sometimes resulting in death. However, a new finding is bringing hope to those who have been diagnosed—and it begins with an arthritis drug.
Published in Oncotarget, researchers from the University of East Angila (UEA) in the United Kingdom found that when leflunomide, a common drug used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, was added to a current melanoma treatment in mice, it halted the growth of melanoma cancer cells.
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“By combining therapies, it’s possible to attack the disease from several angles, which makes it harder for the melanoma to develop resistance to any of the drugs,” said Grant Wheeler, lead researcher of the study. “Our research has shown that there could also be further benefits,” he adds. By joining these two drugs together you may be able to enhance their effects, getting a treatment that is more than the sum of its parts.”
While studies have only been done on mice thus far—further research is required before this combination effect can enter clinical trials—we’re hopeful similar results will be found in humans.
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