FDA Logo Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer, which is usually painless and begins at the top layer of the skin. According to the latest update in this terrain, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug namely Erivedge for the treatment of adult patients suffering from basal cell carcinoma.

The drug has been approved for patients affected by advanced stage of the cancer who are not applicable for surgery or radiation and their tumor has metastasized to other parts of the body. To issue the approval, a trial constituting 96 patients suffering from advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma, was conducted. As per the outcomes, 30% of the patients exposed to Erivedge seemingly encountered a partial response, while 43% of patients with locally advanced skin cancer apparently experienced a full or a partial response.

“Our understanding of molecular pathways involved in cancer, such as the Hedgehog pathway, has enabled the development of targeted drugs for specific diseases. This approach is becoming more common and will potentially allow cancer drugs to be developed more quickly. This is important for patients who will have access to more effective therapies with potentially fewer side effects,” commented Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Erivedge is a tablet that is supposed to be consumed once on a daily basis. It works by restraining the Hedgehog pathway that is stimulated in most basal cell cancers. The side-effects of this drug include loss of taste, nausea, weight loss, hair loss, muscle spasms, vomiting, decreased appetite, constipation, diarrhea, distorted sense of taste and tiredness.

Erivedge is marketed by Genentech.