FDA has approved a new daily pill for skin cancer

FDA has approved a new daily pill for skin cancer

Skin cancer describes a group of different cancers that affect the skin, including basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. During the summer months, it is particularly important to be aware of skin cancer risks.

Nearly 5 million people in the US are treated for skin cancer annually. In the most recent statistics from the year 2006, 3.5 million cases were diagnosed in 2.2 million people.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends prevention tips including: selecting the right sunscreen, avoid tanning beds and UV tanning beds, and covering up from the sun with clothing. It is also recommended to check yourself regularly and get examined by a doctor once a year for skin cancer.

Recently, a statement was released announcing that the FDA has approved a new daily pill for skin cancer. The medication is for basal cell carcinoma, one common type of skin cancer.

The drug, named Odomzo, is being manufactured and marketed by Novartis AG, a pharmaceutical company from Switzerland.

As written in the FDA statement:

Odomzo is a pill taken once a day. It works by inhibiting a molecular pathway, called the Hedgehog pathway, which is active in basal cell cancers. By suppressing this pathway, Odomzo may stop or reduce the growth of cancerous lesions. “Our increasing understanding of molecular pathways involved in cancer has led to approvals of many oncology drugs in difficult-to-treat diseases for which few therapeutic options previously existed,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Thanks to a better understanding of the Hedgehog pathway, the FDA has now approved two drugs for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma just in the last three years.”

Diana Bolotin, M.D., Ph.D., the assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Chicago Medicine welcomes the new treatment, but not without some concerns.

I’ve been at the University of Chicago since 2011 and have only come across a handful of patients who would qualify for such a treatment among the hundreds that we treat every year.” Bolotin said.

There are also potential side effects to the medication, including birth defects, hair loss, and loss of taste.

You’d have to think twice about using this in women of reproductive age and in men who could potentially father a child,” Bolotin adds.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “FDA Approves New Treatment for Most Common Form of Advanced Skin Cancer.” FDA.gov. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 24 July 2015. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
2. “FDA Approve New Daily Pill for Common Skin Cancer.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 27 July 2015. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
3. “New Treatment for Common Skin Cancer Has Some Problems.” Healthline. Healthline, 29 July 2015. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
4. “Skin Cancer Facts.” Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
5. “Prevention Guidelines.” Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.

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