What Is Erivedge?
Basal cell carcinoma is all too common a word nowadays in the dermatology clinic. With 1 in 5 American now developing skin cancer, it’s become one of the most common reasons for visiting and seeking treatment by a dermatologist.
There have been tremendous advancements in the treatment this disease. Mohs surgery, for example, is minimally-invasive in office procedure, that delivers an over 99% cure rate for most basal cell tumors. There are instances however, where patients cannot tolerate surgery or the skin cancer is cannot be completely treated with conventional approaches.
Erivedge (Vismodegib) is a prescription medication used to treat Basal Cell Carcinoma. Specifically, this treatment is designed for patients with metastatic skin cancer, or those patients who are not eligible for surgery or radiation. Erivedge is the only FDA approved medication for treating advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma in adults. Studies have shown that a portion of patients on the medication showed cancer minimization or disappearance.
How Does Erivedge Work?
In the 1990’s, researchers discovered a mutation in a specific cellular pathway called Sonic Hedgehog, aptly named after the video game character. This mutation was found in a large portion of Basal Cell Carcinoma skin cancers. The mutation causes the cellular signal in this pathway always to be turned on, causing the cancer to develop and grow, unchecked and unabated. Erivedge is used to interrupt this signal, with hopes of slowing down the growth of the cancer.
Is Erivedge The Treatment For Me?
The best option is always to consult your dermatologist before making any treatment decision. A treatment plan made with a doctor allows both the patient and doctor to share information, side effects, and concerns that will lead to the best options of treatment.
Eligible patients for treatment with Erivedge are those who:
- Patients with Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma (described as cancer that is deep below the surface of the skin, on a part of the body that would be risky with surgery, or if it has returned after surgical treatment.)
- Patients with Metastatic Basal Cell Carcinoma (attached to lymph nodes, lungs, or bones)
To find out if this medication is right for you, visit your dermatologist and discuss a treatment plan.
If you have any questions about skin cancer and treatment plans, or to schedule a consultation, contact us at Sanova Dermatology today.