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Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Can Treat Skin Melanoma

Experts from the University of East Anglia and Children’s Hospital Boston have discovered that the rheumatoid arthritis drug leflunomide is very effective in treating skin cancer melanoma. The results of the study are published in the March 24, 2011 issue of the journal Nature.

The researchers were examining the potential of thousands of compounds in protecting the pigment cells of skin from developing cancer. They discovered that the leflunomide drug along with an experimental compound PLX4720 is a very potent combination in blocking the growth of skin tumor. The trials were carried out on laboratory mice.

As the next step of the research, the experts would be trying this therapy for melanoma. They are quite optimistic that the new treatment would be available in the market within the next five years. It is because the leflunomide drug is already a licensed one.

Skin melanoma is the most aggressive form of cancer whose incidences are on the rise in recent times. Positive reports of this new drug are quite welcoming.

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