This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

ASCO '11: Roche, Bristol Melanoma Drugs Shine

Stocks in this article: RHHBY.PK BMY

Due to the early and overwhelmingly positive results, the vemurafenib study was stopped early and patients in the dacarbazine arm were allowed to cross over and receive the Roche drug.

Fewer than 10 percent of patients who received vemurafenib experienced problems with high levels of toxicity, grade three or worse. The most common side effects were skin rashes, photosensitivity, and joint pain. About 12% patients developed a low-grade skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, but once removed, patients could continue treatment with vemurafenib.

Bristol's Yervoy belongs to a new class of drugs that harness a patient's own immune system to target and fight cancer. Yervoy is an antibody that targets cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated antigen (CTLA-4), which acts like a brake on the T-cell, a key component of the immune system. Yervoy removes this brake, enabling a patient's own T cells to attack the cancer.

Yervoy was approved in March to treat patients with advanced metastatic melanoma that was no longer responding to previous treatments. The study being highlighted at ASCO this year demonstrates Yervoy's ability to prolong survival in previously untreated melanoma patients.

In this study, 502 patients with metastatic melanoma were randomized to treatment with Yervoy plus the chemotherhapy drug dacarbazine or placebo and dacarbazine. The Yervoy-chemotherapy treatment resulted in a 28% reduction in the risk of death compared to the chemotherapy alone treatment.

The overall survival rate for the Yervoy combination after one year was 47.3% compared to 36.3% for dacarbazine alone. After two years, the overall survival rate was 28.5% for the Yervoy combination versus 17.9 percent for dacarbazine alone. At three years, overall survival was 20.8% for the combination compared to 12.2% for chemotherapy alone.

"This trial's three-year endpoint is significant. No randomized trial for metastatic melanoma has followed patients for this long, and it demonstrates the durability of this survival benefit, now out to three years in this population, and even four years in some cases," said Dr. Jedd Wolchok of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Wolchok added, "It's one of the advantages of immunotherapy. The immune system is a 'living drug,' able to adapt itself to changes in the tumor that might otherwise lead to resistance when treated with chemotherapy or a pathway inhibitor."

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,672.60 -141.38 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,051.82 -11.33 -0.55%
NASDAQ 4,757.8790 +7.4820 0.16%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs