Immunotherapy might triple 5-year survival fee for sure sufferers with superior illness, examine finds.
from HealthDay Information
The most cancers drug Opdivo (nivolumab) might supply hope of an extended life for some sufferers with superior lung most cancers, a brand new small examine finds.
At the moment, solely about 5 p.c of sufferers with superior non-small-cell lung most cancers survive 5 years or extra. However that fee rose to about 16 p.c amongst a bunch taking Opdivo, researchers reported Monday.
“For the first time we are reporting long-term survival for patients with advanced lung cancer,” mentioned lead researcher Dr. Julie Brahmer.
Brahmer is an affiliate professor of oncology on the Johns Hopkins College Institute for Most cancers Immunotherapy in Baltimore.
Opdivo is an immunotherapy drug, which implies it enlists the affected person’s personal immune system to struggle ailments resembling most cancers.
“Immune therapy may play a role in almost any cancer. We are working to increase the response in lung cancer patients,” Brahmer mentioned.
Opdivo works by blocking the exercise of a protein known as PD-1. This enables the affected person’s immune system to kill most cancers cells, in keeping with the U.S. Nationwide Most cancers Institute.
It’s not but attainable to inform which sufferers may profit from the drug. It could be that sufferers with excessive ranges of PD-1 will profit most, Brahmer mentioned.
Different most cancers specialists welcomed the report.
“This is incredible news that a single PD-1 inhibitor currently used as standard of care can cure 16 percent of patients with advanced lung cancer,” mentioned Dr. Yanis Boumber, an assistant professor of hematology and oncology at Fox Chase Most cancers Heart in Philadelphia.
“Of course, the bar will keep rising in advanced lung cancer, and combination immunotherapy treatments are expected to raise this number in the future,” mentioned Boumber, who wasn’t concerned within the examine. “But for now, this is extremely exciting.”
Opdivo is authorised in the US as a remedy for superior non-small-cell lung most cancers after different remedies fail, Brahmer mentioned.
Immunotherapy remedies are typically very pricey, however the researchers behind the examine couldn’t supply a price ticket. Opdivo is roofed by insurance coverage, the researchers mentioned.
The brand new survival information come from long-term follow-up of the preliminary section 1 scientific trial — the primary of three that preceded approval. In that trial, 129 sufferers with non-small-cell lung most cancers that had unfold elsewhere within the physique had been handled with considered one of three doses of the drug for 2 years.