Targeted Radiation Could Help Find and Treat Melanomas | Melanoma Dispatch |

A pair of new studies shows the promise of using radioactive drugs to reveal and shrink melanomas. The drugs are based on benzamide, a small molecule that binds the dark pigment in melanomas (melanin). In the first study, a phase III clinical trial showed that a new melanin-binding radioactive tag is not as good as the current radioactive tag for staging melanomas. While the current tag is not specific to melanomas, the new tag fell short because melanoma produces less melanin as it progresses. However, the researchers point out that the new tag may still help diagnose melanomas that have spread. The second study included 26 people with melanomas that had spread, and nine received a radioactive melanin-binding treatment at a range of doses. Encouragingly, three of the five with doses higher than the range average survived more than two years.