Health, Zoomer Report

Immunotherapy

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It’s currently the most promising area of cancer research. Instead of trying to kill cancer cells, like chemotherapy, immunotherapy harnesses the body to reset its immune system. The first big success was with melanoma. But the approach is showing great promise in a range of other cancers.

In a head-to-head clinical trial comparing standard chemotherapy with an immunotherapy drug researchers found that people with advanced squamous-non-small cell lung cancer who received immunotherapy lived, more than 3 months longer than those receiving chemotherapy. Squamous non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 25 to 30 percent of all lung malignancies.

Another immunotherapy drug was effective in 1 one out of four patients with metastatic head and neck cancer. It decreased the size of tumors by 30 percent or more, in making it nearly twice as effective as the current preferred treatment . Immunotherapy also showed favourable results with colon cancer. All of these findings were presented at a recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists.

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