INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis hospital will begin treating melanoma patients with a new drug that uses a modified virus to infiltrate and destroy deadly skin cancer tumors.
Community Hospital East says it will soon start treating patients with the injectable drug from Amgen Inc. for patients with hard-to-treat melanoma.
The drug, Imlygic (em-LYE’-gick), is injected directly into tumor tissue, where it uses the herpes virus as a Trojan horse to slip past and rupture cancer cells. It also creates an anti-tumor response in patient’s immune system.
The virus is modified so that it only replicates within cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone.
This immunotherapy drug was approved late last year by the Food and Drug Administration.