Budesonide not effective in treating diarrhea among Melanoma patientsMelanoma is a malignant tumor of skin cells called melanocytes. It is one of the less common types of skin cancer. It predominantly affects the skin but it can also affect the eyes and the intestines. It frequently affects male Caucasians, especially those living in sunny climates. According to the World Health Organization, about 48,000 worldwide deaths due to melanoma occur every year.

Patients with stage III or IV metastatic melanoma are usually prescribed with ipilimumab. Ipilimumab is a human specific antibody being currently developed for the treatment of melanoma. It is believed to stimulate the activity of the immune system.

The oral steroid budesonide is also given to melanoma patients because it is believed to reduce one side effect of ipilimumab, diarrhea.

According to a study conducted by a team of researchers led by Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD, senior member of the Moffitt Cancer Center and director of the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center in Tampa Florida, budesonide exhibited no preventive properties for ipilimumab side effects.

Patients were treated with a daily dose of budesonide concomitant with ipilimumab treatment. After four months, researchers did not find any marked difference in the incidence of diarrhea between patients who received budesonide and those who received placebo.

According to Medical News Today:

Patients with stage III or IV melanoma taking ipilimumab and the oral steroid budesonide to reduce side effects did not have less diarrhea, a known side effect of ipilimumab, according to results of a phase II trial published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.