Scientists have found that a combination of two immunotherapy drugs is able to destroy malignant tumors in some terminally ill patients with throat and neck cancer.
For advanced cancer treatment, usuallyapply "extreme" chemotherapy associated with a lot of side effects. An alternative is immunotherapy, which not only improves the chances of long-term survival, but also causes much less harm to the body.
Now oncologists from the Cancer Research Institute in London and the Royal Marsden hospitals found that the combinationdrugs nivolumab and ipilimumab help reduce the size of tumors in terminally ill patients with head and neck cancer. In some cases, the cancer disappeared completely without leaving any signs of the disease.
The third phase of the study involved 1000dying people with head and neck cancer. The application of the new method gave some of them months and years of life with fewer side effects. According to doctors, patients who have tumors with high levels of the immune marker PD-L1 respond best to treatment.
In this group, the survival rates werethe highest ever recorded in a first-line trial for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer. They are three months higher than those of patients receiving chemotherapy. The median overall survival for them was 17.6 months.
Although the trials were early and not statistically significant yet, oncologists say the promising first results will help improve treatments for other forms of cancer.
We also previously reported on the discovery of a protein that energizes immune cells to fight cancer.</p>