Folks in melanoma world tend to go nuts when reports like these hit the news stand. Partly out of desperation for an effective treatment, but also because sometimes such reports fail to make it clear that these great strides were attained in mousies rather than ratties. Despite the skepticism my first sentence may convey, mice ARE the first step toward ratties and if they can find a treatment that works for more of my melanoma peeps, I'll take it!!!
First up is imiquimod, a cream that is usually used topically to treat venereal warts, basal cell carcinoma, and actinic keratosis. These little mice seem to have had it applied topically (??? I think) as well as having it injected in their tail veins (not sure which vein that would be in ratties!!!) followed by radiation and it seemed to make melanoma lesions more responsive to that treatment.
Next there's mebendazole, an old, cheap, oral drug most often used to treat pin worms in kids...but also infestations of many other wormy critters as well as giardia. Generally, it is safe to use, though in large doses can cause bone marrow suppression. As an aside, I had a good many doses of this as a child because my mother seemed to have been of the persuasion that an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure....not that this med works like that for worms nor melanoma, as I sit here today as a Stage IV melanoma rattie!!!
At any rate, here you go.....
The repurposed anthelmintic mebendazole in combination with trametinib suppresses refractory NRASQ61K melanoma. Simulam-Rosenthal, Dakshanamurthy, Gaur, et al. Oncotarget. 2017 Feb 2.