A new study underway at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, is investigating whether an intralesional injection of PV-10 (a substance derived from Rose Bengal, a staining agent that has been used to assess eye damage), is effective in reducing tumors and the spread of cancer in patients with melanoma. Early clinical trials show PV-10 can boost immune response in melanoma tumors and in the bloodstream.
In an initial study in mice with melanoma conducted by Amod A. Sarnaik, MD, Assistant Member in the Department of Cutaneous Oncology at Moffitt, and colleagues, a single injected dose of PV-10 resulted in a significant reduction in skin cancer lesions, and there was a sizable reduction in melanoma tumors that had spread to the lungs. PV-10 appeared to produce a robust antitumor response that may be safer than existing immunologic agents, said the researchers. The initial study results are published in PLOS ONE.
“We are currently in the middle of our first human clinical trial of PV-10 for advanced melanoma patients. In addition to monitoring the response of injected melanoma tumors, we are also measuring the boost in the antitumor immune cells of patients after injection,” said Dr. Sarnaik.
Melanoma Rates on the Rise
According to the American Cancer Society, about 76,690 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2013, about 45,060 in men and 31,630 in women, and about 9,480 people are expected to die of the disease.
The initial study in mice reported in PLOS ONE was supported by a sponsored research agreement with Provectus Pharmaceuticals, Inc, developer of PV-10.
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