Cancer Drug Treatment Trial Yields Promising Results

A recent international drug trial has shown promising results for cancer patients facing terminal diagnoses.  Researches are saying that terminal patients could be “effectively cured” from their cancer by a powerful new combination of treatments that many are calling a once-in-a-generation result.

 

The treatment utilizes the body’s own immune cells to attack the cancerous tumors and in recent trials, Doctor’s said 58% of patients saw an improvement in the size of their tumors.  By combining the two drugs, researchers hope that it will become the main treatment for cancer within the next five years, replacing chemotherapy.  In the international trial, nearly 1,000 patients were treated with the drugs ipilimumab and nivolumab.  The treatment produced tremendous results:  58% of patients saw that their cancers stop advancing for nearly a year while tumors stopped growing or shrank for around 11.5 months.  These results were compared with 19.5% of tumors shrinking or stable with the drug ipilmumab alone, for just two and a half months.

 

Doctor’s say that combining drugs to work with your immune system, instead of against it, is called immunotherapy.  With immunotherapy treatments, Doctor’s have never seen a tumor shrinkage rate over 50%, which means that these new results give hope to cancer patients and researchers everywhere.  While there is still a lot of research to be done, especially regarding any side effects that the combo of drugs may bring, immunotherapy treatments offer a new way to treat a multitude of cancers. 

 

In the case study, a former teacher who suffered from skin cancer has benefited.  Vicky Brown was told in 2013 that she had a terminal case of cancer and was given only months to live after her melanoma spread to her lungs and breast.  In a last ditch effort to save her life; Ms. Brown was treated with immunotherapy.  One of the tumors disappeared after just a few weeks and although the cancer has returned three different times, Ms. Brown’s doctors are confident that it can be treated with this combination of drugs and immunotherapy. 

 

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