Circulating Tumor Cells May Help Determine Melanoma Prognosis


Developing ways to isolate and accurately analyze circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from the blood of cancer patients with solid tumors continues to be an active area of research. Scientists have known for a long time that CTCs can be detected—the first description of CTCs in the blood of a patient with metastatic cancer was reported by Thomas Ashworth in 1869. CTCs travel in the blood as part of the metastatic process, whereby cancer spreads from one organ to another. Continue reading…


Alternative Dosing Schedule Could Delay Resistance to Targeted Melanoma Therapy


Treatment with vemurafenib, a drug in the BRAF inhibitor family, results in rapid tumor shrinkage in metastatic melanoma patients with the V600E BRAF mutation. The response lasts for months, but unfortunately, tumors ultimately become resistant to the treatment. Currently, vemurafenib is given as an oral dose on a daily basis. But a new study published in Nature (doi:10.1038/nature11814) suggests that a 4-weeks-on, 2-weeks-off dosing schedule may help to stave off resistance. Continue reading…