Pair of Drugs Advance Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Vismodegib and sonidegib reduced advanced basal cell carcinoma tumors in 43% of patients with locally advanced disease.

A report published in Cell detailed how 2 drugs that inhibit the protein Smoothened (SMO), which is part of the Hedgehog cellular pathways, is helping patients with basal cell carcinoma.

SMO signals, along with other proteins in the Hedgehog pathway, leads to the activation of cancer. Two relatively new anti-cancer drugs, vismodegib and sonidegib, helps combat the cancer that affects 2.8 million people in the United States each year.

Vismodegib was approved by the FDA in 2012 as first-line treatment for basal cell carcinoma. The approval came after a phase 1 and 2 clinical trial conducted by TGen and Mayo Clinic.

The results of the study showed that vismodegib shrank advanced basal cell carcinoma tumors in 43% of patients with locally advanced disease. Additionally, 30% of patients who had their cancer spread to other organs saw a decrease in tumor size.

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Sonidegib was FDA approved in 2015 with a response rate of 44% in patients with locally advanced disease. However, this SMO inhibitor has not been approved for metastatic cancer yet.