Anyone looking through the plethora of stories on new drugs, trials, innovative surgeries, vaccines and all could think the world’s medical industries are well on top of the cancer plague. While it’s true progress is being made unfortunately there’s no sign of the end of the war.
What all these stories do convey however is that there is always hope and no one is fighting alone.
Keytruda improves OS in advanced bladder cancer, study closes early
A phase 3 study comparing pembrolizumab to chemotherapy for patients with advanced, previously treated urothelial cancer met its primary OS (overall survival) endpoint and has closed early, according to a press release from the drug’s manufacturer.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) — an anti–PD-1 therapy currently approved for the treatment of melanoma, head and neck cancer, and lung cancer — is the first immunotherapy agent to show improved OS outcomes over chemotherapy in this patient population.
“The results of KEYNOTE-045 represent a major breakthrough and will be welcome news for patients dealing with previously treated advanced urothelial cancer,” Roger M. Perlmutter, MD, PhD, executive vice president of Merck and president of Merck Research Laboratories, said in a press release. “We look forward to sharing the findings from this study with the medical community and with regulatory authorities around the world.”
Opdivo Doubles Survival Rates of Advanced Head, Neck Cancer Patients
Opdivo (nivolumab) is a promising therapy for patients with advanced head and neck cancers who fail to respond to chemotherapy or whose cancers have metastasized, according to data from a Phase 3 clinical trial.
The data , shows that Opdivo more than doubled patient survival with fewer side effects than currently available options.
“Nivolumab could be a real game-changer for patients with advanced head and neck cancer. This trial found that it can greatly extend life among a group of patients who have no existing treatment options, without worsening quality of life,” lead reseacher Kevin Harrington, professor of biological cancer therapies at The Institute of Cancer Research in London and a consultant at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said.
Currently, patients with metastatic head and neck cancers who do not respond following platinum-based chemotherapy have no other therapeutic approaches to prolong their survival.
“Nivolumab is one of a new wave of immunotherapies that are beginning to have an impact across cancer treatment. This Phase 3 clinical trial expands the repertoire of nivolumab even further, showing that it is the first treatment to have significant benefits in relapsed head and neck cancer,” said Paul Workman, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research in London.
Personalised & evidence-based treatment way forward for cancer cure
Cancer experts from around 15 foreign countries have to exchange domain knowledge and discuss ways to develop a universal model for cancer management, besides sharing the new technological developments in the field.
"In India head-neck cancer is more common than in the US where lung cancer and other cancer incidences are more. During a trial at our centre, we realised the tumour mutation was different in different cases. We did a genetic profiling and the treatment was given based on mutation.
"This trial and the general feel among cancer experts now is that the model of treatment should move from generic one to personalised, , it holds for across the worldncluding India," says Nancy Lee, Vice-Chair at the Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York.
During the conference, organised by the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) and Foundation for Head-Neck Oncology (FHNO), Indian experts presented research papers on two days, while foreign experts did on the rest two days.
Bridgett Harr Discusses Survivorship for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer
Bridgett Harr, CNP, from Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center, describes what survivorship looks like for patients with head and neck cancer.
The main focus of survivorship for these patients is healthy lifestyle behaviors. For certain long-term effects, useful interventions are physical and speech therapy, massage, and acupuncture.