New drug for skin cancer reported

Erivedge, a new drug that could fight two rare types of skin cancer, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration after an expedited review. Produced by a US subsidiary of Swiss drug giant Roche, Erivedge or vismodegib has been found to help some patients with two kinds of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer in the world. Studies showed that the drug retarded the growth of new tumors but also produced side effects such as loss of taste, hair loss and muscle cramps. More study is needed to determine how long it may work to ward off cancer, when it should be optimally administered, and what populations it may best serve.

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