The trial will begin next week, and it will examine how a combination of drugs will work in the patient’s body to prevent the disease from recurrence.
Sonterra’s dermatologist Dr Richard Gribben says it has been “a real battle” to bring the treatment to the clinic and make it work.
“We’ve been fighting for years, but we have to have the right tools at the right time and at the appropriate dosage,” he told the BBC.
“It’s going to take a very long time to get to the point where we can give the patient the right dose of this medicine, because we need to have that trial in place.”‘
This is not a cure’Sonterrea says the combination of treatment, which was originally developed to treat melanoma, was developed to “avoid” melanoma altogether.
“What we’re doing is basically trying to avoid melanoma entirely,” said Gribbens associate clinical professor of dermatology Dr Daniel Leech.
“This is an anti-melanoma drug, which is a very powerful anti-cancer agent.”
To achieve this, it needs to be given in the right doses, which means it needs a very high dose, but also that it needs enough of it, so that it doesn’t interfere with normal tissue function, and that it does not cause the patient to go into remission.
“That’s the key to this drug being able to stop melanoma.”
Sonterres dermatologist, Dr Richard A. Gribbers, holds up the first of the three Sonterreas treatment drugs.
Sonterrea said it would be able to help about a quarter of melanoma patients, and was one of the few cancer drugs approved in the US.
But some experts say the combination therapy may have unforeseen side effects.
“I think there are two things that need to be considered,” said Dr Gribbrans associate clinical fellow Dr Daniel R. Smith.
The first is that it has not been well studied, and the second is that some patients will be taking the drug for a long time.
In addition, Sonterrea says the trial will be “difficult to administer” and that “a few patients have had side effects”.
The trial is being conducted at the University of New England, in Sydney, Australia.
Dr Smith, a former director of the Australian National Cancer Centre, says it is important to note that there are some “challenges” in the trial, but he is confident that “the trial is very, very promising”.
“It seems to work,” he said.
“But there’s a lot of work to be done before it becomes a new treatment that can be available to patients in Australia.”
Sonters dermatologist Daniel Lechner, also a former cancer expert, says the trials trial has shown that the combination treatment is “very effective”.
Sonterreya’s CEO, Dr Michael C. O’Sullivan, says there is a lot more work to do to get the trial going, but says it was important to get “the right combination of treatments” to be “optimal”.
“We’re going to be using our clinical trials team to go out and do some trials with a very large population,” he says.
“And we’re going through the trial to see if there are any adverse reactions that may occur, to make sure that we can get those patients the right dosage and to make that dose work.”
Sontera says its trial will start in April and will last about six months.
“The trial will involve a large number of patients in a relatively short period of time,” Dr Leech told the ABC.
“So we want to be ready to start the trial in early June or early July, so we can start delivering it to our patients in late July.”
Sonumentra, the company that developed the treatment, said in a statement: “It is our sincere hope that patients who have already received the combination will benefit from this treatment, as this combination will help prevent future recurrences of melanomas and other skin cancers.”