Roche (RHHBY) Melanoma Drug Spurs Growth of Other Skin Cancers: Study  
1/19/2012 7:07:44 AM

A new study helps explain why up to a third of advanced melanoma patients who take Roche Holding's pill Zelboraf develop a less deadly form of skin cancer known as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and even points to a potential fix. They said combining drugs like Zelboraf, which block a mutation known as BRAF, with a second melanoma drug that blocks a different mutation known as MEK helped to solve this problem in lab mice. GlaxoSmithKline has already shown early promise in a trial combining drugs that block both MEK and BRAF, and the study shows why this duo may be more effective and have fewer side effects than drugs that target either mutation separately.