A clinical trial study conducted by a group of scientists from UK on a group of 945 patients suffering from melanoma has proven that a combination of two drugs currently used in immunotherapy can delay the advancement of skin cancer. The trial involved the combined use of ipilimumab and nivolumab, and the positive response to the treatment has been observed in 58% of the trial cases and represents a significant breakthrough in the search of innovative and efficient cancer treatments.
Strengthening the Body to Fight the Disease
The innovative approach tested by the team of British doctors acts as two props strengthening the body and allowing it to identify and destroy cancer cells. The comparative tests where only nivolumab was used on a lot of trial patients showed positive results in only 19% of the cases, therefore the specialists concluded that the drug combination is the key to developing a reliable alternative to chemotherapy.
The findings of the study were presented at Chicago last week, during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The trial group of 945 patients had all terminal stage melanoma (skin cancer) one of the most aggressive and deadliest forms of cancers. The combination of immunotherapy drugs tested under the clinical trials has allowed the patients’ organisms to fight back and delay the advancement of the cancer by 1 year.
A Safe Replacement for Chemotherapy?
Participants at the ASCO meeting have hailed this experimental treatment as a potential replacement for the classic chemotherapy. Professor Roy Herbst, the chief of medical oncology department of Yale Cancer Center in the United States of America made a clear statement to the British daily The Guardian, stating that
“I think we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way oncology is being treated (…) The potential for long-term survival, effective cure, is definitely there.”
It is indeed a completely new approach to the treatment of cancer, by shifting the scope of the drugs used in clinical treatment schemes from killing the cancer cells, to strengthening the patient’s immune system and allowing it to fight the invasive cells cells.
The need for innovation was the key note of this year’s ASCO meeting. A group of Australian scientists presented the findings of an independently conducted study, which showed that the risk for developing melanoma can be reduced by 25% through daily intake of two pills of B3 vitamin.
All the findings and studies presented in the ASCO meeting shall be published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Image Source: Melanoma