Melanoma Drug Succeeds in Late-Stage Trial

A cancer drug based on a tumor-killing virus has for the first time succeeded in a late-stage clinical trial, giving a lift to a technology that has long tantalized doctors and researchers. Amgen, which is developing the drug, said late Tuesday that it had met the primary goal of a Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with advanced melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. In the trial, 16 percent of the patients who had the treatment, called talimogene laherparepvec, or TVEC, experienced a significant shrinkage of their tumors that lasted at least six months. That compared with only 2 percent of the patients in a control group.

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