Research shows the anticancer drug vemurafenib—sold under the brand name Zelboraf—might cause secondary skin cancers.
What Is Zelboraf? When Is It Prescribed?
Zelboraf is the brand name for the drug vemurafenib. Made and sold by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., this prescription medication is used to treat metastatic melanoma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zelboraf on August 17, 2011. It comes in 240 mg film-coated tablets.
Zelboraf is designed to treat the most aggressive form of skin cancer—BRAF V600E mutation positive unrestrictable or metastatic melanoma. People who have a mutated BRAF gene, BRAF V600E, risk increased production of a certain chemical called BRAF serinetheonine kinase, which can cause cancer cells to grow and spread rapidly. Zelboraf inhibits the production of this chemical, halting the spread of melanoma.
Zelboraf Might Cause Cancer Side Effects
According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, however, Zelboraf might cause Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cuSCC).
Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
According to the drug’s label—as mandated by the FDA,—Zelboraf might cause Cutatneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cuSCC), a type of skin cancer. During Zelboraf’s “Trial 1,” 24 percent of the participants who used the drug developed cuSCC with a median onset of symptoms at seven to eight weeks after treatment began.
In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers studied the impact of a gene mutation, called “RAS,” on cuSCC. They found that 60 percent of the tumors they removed had RAS mutations, leading them to conclude that with an additional drug therapy, cuSCC can be curtailed.
Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms
A squamous cell carcinoma tumor has the following characteristics:
- Raised edges
- Ulceration or reddish skin plaque
- Intermittent bleeding from the tumor
- Visible tiny blood vessels
- Subcutaneous (beneath the skin)
- Often forming in sun-exposed areas
- Slow growth
- Substantial risk of metastasis, especially on scar tissue or soft tissues.
The following factors increase the likelihood of cuSCC.
- Prior skin cancer
- Chronic sun exposure
RLG’s Zelboraf Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a Zelboraf lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.
If you have taken Zelboraf and believe it harmed you, contact RLG today.