Lung cancer patients live longer with immune therapy

Lung cancer patients live longer with immune therapy

Unlike traditional treatment, immunotherapies encourage the body's natural defences to target and destroy cancer cells, new research has revealed.

"Using this combination therapy to treat patients with such an aggressive disease could be an important advance in keeping patients alive and well for longer", Gandhi added.

Immuno-chemotherapy combo extends lung cancer victim's survival period, says the latest comprehensive study.

"The data show that treatment with pembrolizumab and chemotherapy together is more effective than chemotherapy alone", said lead investigator Leena Gandhi, director of the thoracic medical oncology program at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health.

In one, scientists at New York University conducted a study involving more than 600 patients with advanced lung cancer. The immune-activating drug was a checkpoint inhibitor called pembrolizumab, or Keytruda, made by Merck, which paid for the study.

She was scheduled to present the results Monday in Chicago at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, and they were also published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Model and Property Released
The research could lead to new treatment regimens

"If you want to see long-term survival, youve got to give immunotherapy as soon as possible", Herbst said.

Non-squamous lung cancer patients make up about 80% of all the non-small cell lung cancers, so that amounts to over 150,000 patients in the U.S. each year, said Gomez, who was not involved in the new study.

Two thirds were given a combination of both immunotherapy drugs and chemotherapy while the remaining patients were given chemotherapy and a placebo. I lead the Yale lung team.

But the benefits for Opdivo and Yervoy lasted less than two months on average.

The study, a phase III clinical trial testing treatment effectiveness and side effects, included 616 patients at 118 medical facilities around the globe. Median survival is met when 50% of the patients die.

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