Weekly News - Wednesday 17 October 2018

Keytruda now has eighth registration - this time for Head and Neck cancer


KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) gains its eighth registration in New Zealand - this time for head and neck cancer which has reoccurred or spread after treatment.

Paul Smith, MSD New Zealand Director says, "Head and neck cancer is a complex disease historically associated with high recurrence and poor long term outcomes. The registration of KEYTRUDA for patients’, whose disease has reoccurred or spread after treatment, is an important step forward." The Medsafe registration was based on early trial results for KEYTRUDA in the KEYNOTE - 012 trial. The trial included 192 patients who had already received treatment but their disease had progressed. Results showed, 18% of patients responded to treatment and 4% of these patients had a complete response meaning their cancer was undetectable. Read more....


Living Well Eating Smart: Cancer survivorship & what you need to know about nutrition

The moment you are diagnosed with cancer is the moment you become a survivor. As treatment draws to an end, talk to your doctor about developing a Survivorship Care Plan. The journey after treatment can be a stressful time, but this guide will give you peace of mind for what to expect as you move onto a new chapter.

When it comes to nutrition, the good news is that your needs slowly "return to normal" and begin to reflect the same recommendations as the general population. Unless you've been given individualized guidance from your oncologist and/or primary care provider, use these tips as a roadmap for eating well after treatment. Read more...


Oral treatment may not be far off for head and neck cancer patients 


A highly promising approach to treating HPV-driven head and neck cancer is on the way, and it could be in the shape of a simple oral medication.

This is according to new breakthrough research led by Griffith University, which has conducted trials showing that the drug, Alisertib, tested in trials to treat other cancers such as lung and kidney, can also successfully destroy the cancer cells associated with head and neck cancer.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the main culprit in head, neck and oral cancers. The virus is thought to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world, and most people are infected with HPV at some time in their lives.

The latest trials – which have taken place over the past three years at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus – have shown a particular enzyme inhibitor in the drug, has the ability to prevent proliferation of HPV cancer cells in advanced head and neck cancers.

A 100 per cent success rate

Led by Professor Nigel McMillan, program director from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, the trials have shown a 100 per cent success rate in the drug eradicating the cancerous tumours in animals.

“Head and neck cancers can unfortunately be very difficult to treat, just by the very nature of where they are located in and around the throat, tongue and mouth,” says Professor McMillan.  Read more...



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