Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment
Published: 01 June 2015 | by The Guardian
Terminally ill cancer patients could be “effectively cured” of the disease using a powerful new combination of drugs described by scientists as heralding a once-in-a-generation advance in treatment.

A British-led trial brought “spectacular” results with more than half of patients with advanced melanoma seeing tumours shrink or brought under control using the drugs.

Prof Roy Herbst, chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Centre in the US, said the treatment, which uses the body’s immune system to attack cancerous cells, could potentially replace chemotherapy as the standard cancer treatment within five years.

“I think we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way oncology is being treated,” he said. “The potential for long-term survival, effective cure, is definitely there.”

In an international trial, 945 patients with advanced melanoma were treated using the drugs ipilimumab and nivolumab. The treatments stopped cancer advancing for nearly a year in 58% of cases, with tumours stable or shrinking for an average of 11.5 months, researchers found.

This was compared with 19% of cases for ipilimumab alone, with tumours stable or shrinking for an average of two and a half months, according to the research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr James Larkin, a consultant at the Royal Marsden hospital and one of the UK’s lead investigators, told the BBC: “By giving these drugs together you are effectively taking two brakes off the immune system rather than one, so the immune system is able to recognise tumours it wasn’t previously recognising and react to that and destroy them.

“For immunotherapies, we’ve never seen tumour shrinkage rates over 50% so that’s very significant to see. This is a treatment modality that I think is going to have a big future for the treatment of cancer.”
Ipilimumab was approved as an advanced melanoma treatment by the UK’s health service last year. The drug is given intravenously every three months and costs around £100,000 for a year. Nivolumab is given every two weeks until it stops working.

Dr Alan Worsley, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information officer, said the combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab represented a “a powerful one-two punch” against advanced melanoma.
He added: “Together these drugs could release the brakes on the immune system while blocking cancer’s ability to hide from it. But combining these treatments also increases the likelihood of potentially quite severe side-effects. Identifying which patients are most likely to benefit will be key to bringing our best weapons to bear against the disease.”

Side-effects can include fatigue, rash and diarrhoea.

Eminent oncologist Prof Karol Sikora, the dean of the University of Buckingham’s medical school, cautioned against expectations of “miraculous breakthroughs” from the latest discoveries.
Sikora told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “The immune system has been known to affect certain cancers when stimulated for the last 100 years, but we haven’t quite got round it yet.

“The current discoveries being released in Chicago, the media pick them up and for cancer patients it’s very sad. You would think cancer was being cured tomorrow. It’s not the case. We’ve got a lot to learn.
“The prolongation of survival from these very expensive immune therapies is often a matter of weeks or months and we’ve got to make it long-lasting and that has to be our priority.

“I’m afraid it’s mixed news. There are breakthroughs coming, there is hope for cancer, that we will do much better in the future. It’s slow progress, rather than miraculous breakthroughs, as it’s likely to be reported.”

Case study

One patient who has benefited from the treatment is former college teacher Vicky Brown, 61, who was told in 2013 she had only months to live after skin cancer spread to her breast and lungs.
She took part in clinical trials at the Royal Marsden hospital last August and within weeks the tumour was eradicated. When it later returned, it was removed with immunotherapy. It has come back a third time but doctors plan to use the same method.

“I started drug therapy in August 2014, and although I experienced quite severe side-effects these were able to be treated so I could stay on the trial,” Brown said.

“One of the lumps disappeared after just a couple of weeks which was remarkable. I was delighted to be given the chance to join this trial, not only for me, but also for all the other melanoma patients who could benefit in the future.”



- Source: The Guardian

Comments

Latest News

MLF's Communique of Information and Publicity Dept
Ours is not politics of propaganda but a revolution, a total chang...
The history of the Fengu Community: Matebeleland
Extracted from the: The Dyke 2013 by Ncube G. T.One of the most ...
The storm the Ndebele King created
EARNEST Ncube came to Bulawayo on the 12th of September 2017...
Big mouth Matemadanda must zip it: Names have no crimes
Big mouth war veterans Secretary General, Victor Matamatanda's med...
Mthwakazi Youth: The Road Map To Restoration
The Africans in the continent and others in the diaspora are celeb...

Polls

What is the greatest threat to Mthwakazi nation

73%
4%
6%
14%
12 ZIPRA men's Star and Movie-like Battle: Hardened Fighters
 FOR 88-year-old Mrs Bhikhayeli Moyo (nee Dube), reliving the...
MLO's demands for the Matebele "Gukurahundi" Genocide
The abuse of God's name and the bible by dirty politicians and fak...
Africa Day: What does it mean to you?
A WORD FROM MLF PRESIDENT: DR C.M.GUDUZAAFRICA DAY!!! What does ...
1893 MHRRM strongly condemns ill-treatment of Nkosazana Khuphe
The 1893 Mthwakazi Human Rights Restoration Movement (1893 MHRRM) ...
I am not self appointed: HRM King Mzilikazi II
HRM King Mzilikazi II, Stanley Raphael  Khumalo has dismissed...
MLF call on Federal Constitutional Conference in Mthwakazi
Comments from Dr Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza: MLF President ...
MLF proposes Federal Mthwakazi Constitution
MLF is kindly seeking feedback, comments, amendments and or su...
List of countries led by amaKhosi
Belikwazi na ukuthi amazwe alandelayo angaphansi kobukhokheli bobu...
Abafana bakaMzilikazi oMaskhandi bayaziqhunsa ingoma
MTHWAKAZI omuhle ngokuthokoziswa kusa kwamalanga liphephandaba lik...
Mthwakazi in disturbing and great shock for 38 years
Should it not be DISTURBING AND A 'GREAT SHOCK' that a struggle fo...
Matebele Diaspora Genocide Conference Cancellation Notice
We regret to inform the public, on very short notice, that we are ...
Abaculi bakwethu: Iqembu elizibiza Abafana bakaMzilikazi
USIZI lidlalade labo elitsha ngelesihlanu, lilencindambophe zengom...
King Mzilikazi II meets Mzansi Mthwakazi in JHB
The meeting delayed starting by a couple of hours whilst waiting f...
uHRM Mzilikazi II uhlangana loMthwakazi kweleSouth Africa
eBerea, RSA- Ekhuluma lamakhulu ezizalwane zakoMthwakazi namhla eB...
Urgent Notice: HRM Mzilikazi II Press Conference Cancellation
URGENT NOTICE: HRM MZILIKAZI II PRESS CONFERENCE CANCELLATIONATTEN...
Mzilikazi II SRK calls an important Press Conference
P.O Box 2954, Bulawayo Mobile: +263 77 2...
Dabengwa, Dube and Mzila expected to attend Matebeleland Diaspora Geno
This press release is issued to the public as a way of an upda...
Impumelelo Shining Stars rebrands to Indosakusa
Notice !!  Notice !!  Notice !! Impumelelo shining stars...
Of Mthwakazi Statehood and Kingship Contestation
The Mthwakazi nation has been without a King since 1893. Since t...
1893 MHRRM UK Matebele Genocide Demo on the 24th March 2018
The 1893 Mthwakazi Human Rights Restoration Movement’s (1893 MHR...
A Question for a King
Quick Question? How many kings have ...
Kembo Mohadi's Charity game or gamble: MLF
The KEMBO MOHADI CHARITY GAME that is set for today between HIGHLANDER...
Magagula's trumpet is not MLF position. He was fired
DAVID MAGAGULA WAS FIRED FROM MLF IN MAY 2016 AND CANNOT SPEAK ON ...
Call for declaration of Legal firepower on Mnangagwa's Regime: Dr Gudu
Colleagues, comrades and Mthwakazians, I send you this message as ...
MLF condemns Mnangagwa's Rogue Commission
Zanu PF politics is too cunning and beyond the comprehension of ma...
Chiefs must stay away from the Gukurahundi issue: MLO
With all due respect which should be accorded traditional chiefs, ...
MLO unveils Coat of Arms
MLO finds great pleasure and pride in unveiling yet another import...
MLF denounces Bulelani and his gang of Judas Iscariots and Liars
The only way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Th...
Mzilikazi II's spokesperson warns UK over trade deals that involve Mat
February 13, 2018 Our Ref: Mthw 0213180900 Ms. Elena Wi...
1893 MHRRM says No to UK's planned deportations of Matebele Genocide v
The 1893 Mthwakazi Human Rights Restoration Movement (1893 MHRRM...