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For decades, St. Jude scientists and clinicians have been working to improve melanoma treatment. A recently completed clinical trial, headed by Navid, was the first study to use a medication called pegylated alpha-interferon in children with high-risk melanoma.
Asa was one of 30 patients to take part in that study, which included surgery to remove the lesion and any affected lymph nodes, plus treatment with a new formulation of interferon. Navid says preliminary results indicate the drug was well tolerated by study participants. Headaches and fatigue were the only side effects mentioned by Asa, who continued participating in gymnastics competitions and taking care of his pony while undergoing treatment.
St. Jude is offering three clinical trials for children with advanced melanoma:
Abridged from Promise, Summer 2013