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

Stefanie Joho 27 in Penn Valley Pa. last spring was treated with Merck’s Keytruda for advanced colon cancer. A new study shows that the immunotherapy drug when combined with chemotherapy also prolongs survival in patients with advanced lung cance

In another study, the combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo and Yervoy worked better than chemo alone for delaying the time until cancer worsened in advanced lung cancer patients whose tumors have many gene flaws, as almost half do, AP reported.

The challenge remains to develop ways of applying these Principles in the clinical setting, whether in hospitals or GP practices in major cities, regional centres or smaller towns, to improve outcomes for people with lung cancer.

Leading researcher of this study, Dr. Leena Gandhi says 'What it suggests is that chemotherapy alone is no longer a standard of care.' she is the Thoracic Medical Oncology Program director for the Perlmutter Cancer Center at the New York University Langone Health.

The findings, published in the the New England Journal of Medicine, were reported on Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Chicago.

Weapons inspectors plan to head to Syria's Douma hours after strikes
Syrian flags flew in Douma on Monday, security forces stood on street corners and Russian military police patrolled the streets. The attack on 7 April prompted military strikes on Syrian government targets by the US, UK, and France a week later.

The therapy has been hailed as one of the biggest advances in decades after research found that patients lived longer, with fewer tumours returning. More than 69% of the combination group were alive at a year, compared to 49% of those who used chemotherapy alone. 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. The two drugs help jump-start the immune system to attack cancer.

The research could lead to new treatment regimens.

.

A Johns Hopkins University study also found patients treated with Opdivo were less likely to have their cancer progress after one year.

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