Researching Melanoma: Progress Emerging from Years of Setbacks

Between 1998 and 2014, there were 96 unsuccessful drugs and 7 approved drugs for melanoma.

We have seen exciting progress in medicines to treat melanoma recently. These advances built on knowledge gained from many unsuccessful investigational drugs.

A total of 96 potential medicines to treat melanoma were cut from the biopharmaceutical pipeline between 1998 and 2014. In that same period 7 were approved by the FDA.

These so-called “failures” are very disappointing to researchers but they are also a chance to learn and future medicines build on them. In melanoma all this research is bearing fruit. Since 2011, 6 new medicines were approved that are making a big difference for some patients with the most deadly form of the disease, metastatic melanoma.

These new drugs target melanoma cells as the molecular level and some trigger the immune system to respond. Researchers are working to build on this progress in the coming years with 96 more medicines in clinical development.

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