16 Feb 2009

New melanoma drug trial to be held

6:06 am on 16 February 2009

Hospitals in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are to take part in an international trial of a new drug to fight melanoma.

The drug is a form of immunotherapy, which it's hoped will stop melanoma cells in the lymph nodes from growing and becoming deadly.

Only those who have had a melanoma surgically removed within the past eight weeks, and have cancerous cells still in their lymph nodes, are eligible through their specialist.

The drug won't be used on people with widespread secondary cancers, because the treatment is not believed to work in severe cases.

About 30 people in New Zealand are expected to take part in the trial.