New injectable drug hailed as milestone in treating deadly skin cancer

London, Mar 26: A breakthrough cancer drug has been given the go-ahead to treat late-stage melanoma.

The injectable drug Yervoy hailed as the first to prolong the lives of patients with melanoma as been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, reports the Daily Mail.

The drug, known chemically as ipilimumab, only worked in a small proportion of patients studied, and on average they lived just four months longer than patients given older medications.

But experts say it''s milestone in treating the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Ipilimumab is part of a group of targeted cancer medicines that harness the body''s immune system, instead of attacking the disease with outside chemicals like chemotherapy.

The drug works by blocking a molecule linked to melanoma called CTLA-4, which interferes with the protective activity of white blood cells.

When the molecule is blocked, the cells behave normally and help fight off cancer. (ANI)