The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Vismodegib (Erivedge) for Basal Cell Carcinoma

The FDA has approved vismodegib (vis moe deg´ ib; Erivedge – Genentech), the first hedgehog (Hh) pathway inhibitor, for oral treatment of metastatic basal cell cancer, locally advanced basal cell carcinoma that has recurred after surgery, or locally advanced basal cell carcinoma in adults who are not candidates for surgery or radiation.

MECHANISM OF ACTION — The Hh signaling pathway, which is important in embryonic development and regulation of adult stem cells, has been implicated in the development of several human cancers.1 Mutations in the Hh pathway are thought to be the cause of basal cell carcinoma.2 Vismodegib inhibits the signaling activity of a transmembrane protein in this pathway. It has shown activity against lung and pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and hepatocellular carcinoma in mice, in addition to ... more      

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