A new drug could help prolong the life of melanoma sufferers in Hull and the East Riding

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Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by KCFM

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New hope’s been given to people across our region who are diagnosed with melanoma.

Over 120 people in Hull and the East Riding are diagnosed with melanoma every year – but a new treatment could improve their chances of survival.

Nivolumab, a new drug launched today, strengthens the body’s immune system to fight the skin cancer.

Consultant Medical Oncologist, James Larkin, says there are several signs of the disease for people to look out for:

“Moles in the skin which seem to be growing rapidly or changing their appearance or itching or bleeding or they have an irregular outline. And I think the point is that if anyone is concerned don’t ignore it, go and see a general practitioner straight away.”

He say treatments have come a long way in recent years:

“What we’ve seen in the last five years, particularly with targeted drugs and drugs that stimulate the immune system, and this drug nivolumab is a drug that stimulates the immune system, is that melanoma has gone from the cancer with the least number of effective treatments to arguably leading the way.”

Mr Larkin says this could just be the start for a future cure:

“We still need to do better. We still have patients who are dying of melanoma, and so actually I hope that what we’ve seen is just the beginning and we’ll see more of this in the next five to ten years.”

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Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by KCFM

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