Studies find new ways to use immune-boosting lung cancer drugs

Micrographs of squamous carcinomaNEPHRON WIKIMEDIA

In his own research, Hellmann said, his team finessed the dosing of the two drugs to minimize side effects, and found that the combination therapy was significantly better than chemotherapy alone against tumors with a lot of mutations.

One study, conducted by scientists at New York University, involved more than 600 patients with advanced lung cancer. It's the biggest win so far for immunotherapy, which has had much of its success until now in less common cancers.

Other studies presented at the meeting also highlighted advances in immunotherapy against lung cancer, but were at earlier points in the research and less likely to bring about immediate changes in medical practice.

Combining an immunotherapy drug with chemotherapy almost doubled the survival time of some lung cancer patients compared to patients treated with chemotherapy alone, new research published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine showed.

"We're not almost where we need to be yet", said Dr. Roy Herbst, a Yale Cancer Center lung expert who had no role in the studies.

Chemotherapy may no longer be the standard cancer treatment after the publication of a series of studies by the American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago. The studies were sponsored by the drugmakers, and many study leaders and Herbst consult for the companies. The immune-activating drug was a checkpoint inhibitor called pembrolizumab, or Keytruda, made by Merck, which paid for the study.

Immunotherapy works by harnessing the body's immune system to attack tumors.

For non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients, median survival with chemotherapy alone is somewhere around 11 or 12 months, he said.

Cancer patients should be given immunotherapy as the first line of treatment following the results of "game-changing" trials, charities say. Roughly 20% of patients see their tumors respond when they get chemotherapy before surgery; in this study, among patients who received Opdivo instead, 45% of tumors had regressed and in three patients there was no remaining tumor at all, Forde said.

After one year, 69 percent of people originally assigned to Keytruda were alive versus 49 percent of the others - a result that experts called remarkable considering that the second group's survival was improved because half of them wound up switching.

The Keytruda combo also delayed the time until cancer worsened - an average of nine months versus five months for the chemo-only group.

The findings represent another step forward for immunotherapy, which has been making steady gains against a number of different cancers.

Related News:



Most liked

British man accused of beating Thai wife to death
Police in Minnesota have been searching for Mrs Riess since 23 March, after they found the body of her husband David Riess. According to the Star Tribune , another surveillance camera photographed Riess at Hutchinson's condo in the same city.

Nasa on planet-hunting mission
Bigger and more powerful observatories of the future will scrutinize these prime candidates for potential signs of life. These mysterious worlds beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, could harbor life.

Severe cash crunch in ATMs in several states
Public sector bank executives also said there is a spurt in demand for cash to make payments for agricultural activities as well. Meanwhile, the RBI on Tuesday formed a committee to tide over the cash crunch crisis that has hit several states in the country.

Boston Bruins: The B's were unable to execute in game 3
The speed was most noticeable in the neutral zone and the skill most particularly on Matthews' game victor in the second period. We know it has been and it will continue to be and we know that they're a tight-checking team; they play hard.

New £60m government fund to tackle global plastic pollution
The trait indicated that PETase may have evolved in a PET-containing environment to enable the enzyme to degrade PET. The scientists generated 3-D imagery to understand how the enzyme works.

Wetherspoons deletes all social media accounts after constant 'online abuse'
He said that he does not believe that closing the accounts will have any affect on the business "whatsoever". Wetherspoon had amassed a following of some 44,000 on Twitter and over 100,000 on Facebook.

Air defense confront missiles in Homs
Moscow and Damascus claimed two Israeli fighter planes carried out that airstrike "remotely from Lebanese territory". Iranian news agencies also reported missiles being fired toward Shayrat.

Norfolk Police looking for suspect in string of armed robberies
The man drove off in her auto , described as a gold 2006 Nissan Altima with Wisconsin plate number 588-GDS, police said. Court documents say the employee put cash on the counter for Antill and Antill took the money and left the casino.

Night Court' actor Harry Anderson dies at 65
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Morgan, whom he married in 2000, and his two children from his first wife, Leslie Pollack. TV host and comic Chris Hardwick also mourned the loss, tweeting , " NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! "I never auditioned for anything".

Vampire Diaries Actor to Star in Netflix's Vampire Series V-Wars
This will be Somerhalder's first time getting back to his garlic-averse roots since last year's The Vampire Diaries series finale. William Laurin and Glenn Davis, creators of the Canadian crime drama 1-800-Missing, will serve as showrunners for the series.

Predators, Lightning take 2-0 series leads
Colorado has averaged 5.6 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 6.2 giveaways per game (ranked 2nd). Subban had two assists for the Predators and was one of three Nashville players to record two points in the contest.

California rejects Trump administration plan for National Guard troops on border
State insiders with knowledge of the talks spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Trump wants to send up to 4,000 troops to the border and has commitments for about 2,400 from those states and California.

Russian Federation warns of 'dangerous' escalation over Syria
A USA official told Reuters news agency the attacks were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

England win netball gold at Commonwealth Games
England's netball team stunned favourites Australia to take the gold medal in a last-gasp victory at the Commonwealth Games. The leagues in those two countries are professional and their players are so revered that they star in television adverts.

Domino's will now deliver pizzas to parks, beaches and other 'unexpected' places
Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The institutional investor owned 3,472 shares of the restaurant operator's stock after selling 752 shares during the quarter.