HEALTH

New cancer drug shows promise

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Mike Brockey of Frederick has a wife, three children and stage four melanoma, a fast-moving deadly skin cancer. He’s 33-years-old.

Adding days – weeks even – to his life may now be possible with new breakthrough skin cancer drugs.

"I've got no interest in shortening my life with the standard chemo options,” Brockey said. “I would opt against and just spend my days with my family."

In Chicago, scientists revealed a new drug called vemurafenib, which targets genetic cell mutation, which affects about half of all melanoma patients. It’s so successful, doctors took patients off chemotherapy and put them on the new pill.

It’s not a cure. But it is medicine that can add time.

Brockey’s cancer started with a mole on his neck. Six months later, doctors told him he had a year to live. The melanoma moved to his spleen and liver.

He got a chance to try another new drug, yervoy, which stimulates the immune system to fight cancer.

“Well, for the first time I came back I had a scan result that said your tumors are dying,” he said.

That news was back in March. It didn’t kill the cancer but it gave him more time. Just last week, he found out that the cancer is progressing again. He’s now focused on life.

“I am living the best I can,” Brockey said.

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