Leflunomide, a drug commonly used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has been found to suppress the growth of skin cancer tumor. Current treatments used for the removal of malignant melanoma tumors are not much effective.
More than 68,000 people in the US and 10,000 in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma each year. Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment cells in human skin. Early diagnosis can lead to the safely removal of tumor but the chances of survival for patients whose tumors have reached a advanced stage, are quite low.
Researchers from the Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts conducted a test of the dug on mice and found that the drug has inhibited skin tumors in mice. Researchers have claimed that the new drug treatment will be milestone in the treatment of skin cancer.
Use of leflunomide in combination with PLX4720, which is a new therapy for melanoma could completely block the growth of skin cancer tumor. Leflunomide is an approved drug which is safe for use on humans so the research process is expected to be faster because the next trials could be conducted on humans.