Tag Archive | "skin cancer"

New Rules on Sunscreens Issued by FDA

The United States Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that they will require new sunscreen labelling in order to identify the products that are best for decreasing the risk of skin cancer.

Based on the new rules, sunscreens that protect its users from UVA and UVB rays will be classified under “Broad Spectrum” sunscreens. FDA officials explained that both UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage; however, UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn.

Manufacturers of sunscreens will also be required to indicate sun protection factor (SPF). Those with less than SPF 15 could not claim that they help thwart sunburn, cancer, and premature skin aging.

The director of the Center for Drug Evaluation of the U.S. FDA, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said that sunscreens that meet their standards can now advertise their product as a tool that can help reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging when used with other sun protection methods. The new labels, however, may not be seen until next summer, she added.

On the other hand, sunscreens with SPF of less than 14 and are not Broad Spectrum must indicate in their labelling that their product is not proven to decrease risks of skin cancer and sunburn. Woodcock also said that the said labels will be added on the drug fact box. She also said that sunscreens can no longer be referred to as “sunblocks” to avoid the impression that they offer complete protection from the harmful rays of the sun.


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Roche Positive on Avastin for Ovarian Cancer

Roche Holding AG gave an upbeat statement about the possibility of Avastin getting an approval to be a key drug for ovarian cancer.

Pascal Soriot, the company’s pharma head, said that they are absolutely confident that Avastin will be approved in Europe and they are also positive that it will be approved for the US market.

The sales of Avastin have fallen dramatically over the past few months since healthcare authorities that its use in breast cancer be curbed. Avastin is currently used to cure a range of tumors.

Now, Roche is banking on the use of Avastin – their multibillion dollar seller drug – to focus on the treatment of ovarian cancer. They are hoping that the shift in drug use will drive massive sales for their company in the future. The company has already filed for approval in Europe and as soon as they get an overall survival data, they will also seek approval in the US.

Moreover, Roche will also present partial data on MetMab in the treatment of lung cancer. They are also trying to develop the drug to treat other diseases like breast cancer.

Physicians and other investors are also looking in to studying vemurafenib to treat skin cancer. Soriot admitted that the commercial possibilities for the drug are still low because of the limited cases of skin cancer. However, should the drug be developed for treating other kinds of cancer the sales may also go up.

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“Don’t Fry Day” Promotes Awareness on the Dangers of Sun Damage

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States announced that this Friday is a “Don’t Fry Day”. This is a part of the agency’s efforts to promote awareness on the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun, including skin cancers.

The EPA partnered with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention in launching the Don’t Fry Day. Both organizations wants people to understand how important it is to protect our skin from the sun; especially during summer when the sun is at its hottest and everyone wants to head outside for fun activities. They are offering people with tips to minimize risks of sun damage.

EPA encourages everybody to check their area’s UV index before heading out for summer activities. The UV index will tell us when the sun’s UV rays are at its peak or the most intense; needless to say, you need to stay indoors during those times. EPA also said that in order to avoid sun damage we should wear a shirt, hats, and sunglasses and use sunscreen whenever we are outdoors.

The assistant administrator of the Air and Radiation department of EPA, Gina McCarthy, said that most people do not take sun damage seriously. She added that many do not understand that increased sun exposure may lead to major skin diseases like melanoma (an advanced form of skin cancer).

Lastly, the EPA wants everyone to visit their website wherein the Sunwise program is vastly featured. The program is dedicated to increasing awareness about the dangers of sun damage and the importance of protecting our skin from the sun. You can get more resources and tips from the site.

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