Immunotherapy and other cancer advances are improving survival in cancer patients.
Robert Waag is alive and apparently cancer free more than two years after advanced melanoma reached his lungs, hips and other parts of his body – a feat only recently considered unthinkable for such patients.
Waag, 77, is on the immunotherapy Keytruda, a new type of drug that enlists the body’s defenses in the fight.
The first new immunotherapy drug for cancer was introduced in 2011, so long-term efficacy is unknown. But the approach is showing promise. Before these drugs, the prognosis for most patients with advanced melanoma was a year at best.
In one study of Keytruda, 40 percent of such patients survived at least three years, and 10 percent showed no evidence of cancer.
“The prospect that more and more patients will be cured is becoming a reality,” said Waag’s oncologist Dr Lynn Schuchter, chief of hematology oncology at Philadelphia’s Penn Medicine who has no current financial ties to drug companies.
After decades in which progress meant eking out weeks or months at the end of life, such treatments are changing the dialogue around cancer.
Leading cancer experts are beginning to talk about the possibility some patients will beat diagnoses once considered death sentences. The White House calls it an “inflection point” with cancer science apparently poised for big gains.
Read Full Article: Promising Drugs Stoke Talk of Cancer ‘Cures’ – NBC News
|Read Full Article: Promising Drugs Stoke Talk of Cancer ‘Cures’ – NBC News|