GCS Physician Dr. Carlos Franco Appeared on CNN en Espanol to Discuss New Melanoma Drugs

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Carlos Franco, MD, FACPGeorgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) physician Dr. Carlos Franco recently appeared on CNN en Espanol to talk about the two new drugs for advanced metastatic (late-stage) melanoma. The drugs – vemurafenib and ipilimumab – were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting last weekend.

GCS – a Top 10 cancer practice in the U.S. – has extensive experience with ipilimumab thanks to involvement in a prior clinical trial involving lung cancer and a current trial for prostate cancer. Ipilimumab is one of just a few drugs approved by the FDA to treat metastatic melanoma, and has clearly demonstrated it helps patients with metastatic melanoma live longer.

“We’re not just talking about chemotherapy, we’re talking about genetics,” said Dr. Franco. “This is opening doors because we won’t have to use chemotherapy to treat every cancer.”

Vemurafenib targets a mutation of a gene called BRAF, present in about 50 percent of patients with advanced melanoma. Patients treated with one of these two drugs experienced significant prolongation of survival, and in some cases improved very quickly

Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, is the leading cause of death from skin disease. An estimated 68,130 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the United States in 2010, and about 8,700 people died from the disease.

Georgia Cancer Specialists is a Top 10 private cancer practice in the U.S. and a leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The practice supports more than 200,000 patient visits each year. GCS offers community-based medical oncology and hematology services and is the first private oncology practice to also provide a full range of support services for patients in Georgia, including nutritional counseling, pain management, wellness counseling, and home health coordination. The GCS research department, whose focus is bringing targeted cancer therapy to communities, is the first in Georgia to offer Phase I clinical trials, the most novel cancer therapies available. GCS has 31 offices, 45 physicians, and more than 500 support staff members located in Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia, Southeast Tennessee, and Southwest North Carolina. Georgia Cancer Specialists can be found on the web at www.gacancer.com. GCS is The Cancer Answer.

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