New approach and drugs for cancer treatment in Sweden


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Saturday, 04 June 2011
The treatment of skin cancer malignant melanoma has improved significantly over the past years in Sweden but as expected in such a complicated disease, there is always room for improvement. This is why continuous improvement has meant that new drugs in various combinations have been developed and has shown extensive improved results for those with advanced cancer.

“I would say that we are undergoing a paradigm shift especially in patients who have melanoma spread - where the disease has returned and metastasized, "said Hakan Olsson, a professor of oncology at University Hospital in Lund, southern Sweden, speaking to radio Sweden.

Every year nearly 3000 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in Sweden. Chemotherapy and radiation were previously part of the treatment and the results were not as satisfactory as both the medical establishment and patients appreciated. But now there are two new drugs and a third in on the way, which has substantially improved treatment and hence provide the ability to survive.


One in five patients with malignant melanoma will get back their illness. This is why Professor H�kan Olsson compares the treatment of malignant skin cancer to the deadly disease HIV treatment of today. This means that work has been going in to improve existing methods and to seek new drugs just as the fight has been going on with HIV.

The new targeted drugs acts as tricking back the cancer which might have remain calmed by the traditional drugs. When the cancer comes back they give a new combination of drugs to the patient.  This makes the drug to now fully attack the cancer unlike the preview method which the drug only pushes the cancer and made it remain in check but to re emerge.

Despite the new drugs, early detection of skin cancer continues to be critical and as Kari Nielsen, dermatologist and researcher at Helsingborg Hospital, points out, man has to check the body for spots and look for changes in colour and form. It is vital to keep the eyes on the whole body according to Kari Nielsen for any irregularity.

Today 20 000 people are treated for some form of skin cancer and according to Professor H�kan Olsson, the number of new cases is increasing, but patients will face a completely new treatment approach without serious side effects.
“It's a very different future that awaits melanoma patients - in a positive way, "he said.
By Team

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