Health Care

New studies find lung cancer breakthroughs

New studies find lung cancer breakthroughs

Lung cancer patients who receive immunotherapy will gain extra years of life and see improved survival rates, according to new findings by doctors.

Yau noted, however, that pembrolizumab by itself works only in a minority of patients. Recurrence-free survival at 18 months was 73 percent, and the median recurrence-free survival had not been reached at the time of data analysis.

For patients with PD-L1-low tumors, defined as those with expression between 1% and 50% (n = 140), median PFS was 9.7 months for those assigned atezolizumab and 6.9 months for those assigned the control regimen (HR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.38-0.84).

Merck & Co's immunotherapy Keytruda plus chemotherapy significantly improved overall survival in newly-diagnosed patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in a closely-watched study, cementing its lead position over Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and others in the most lucrative oncology market.

The Keytruda plus chemotherapy regimen was approved as an initial, or first-line, treatment for advanced patients based on earlier data from a small study. However, the KEYNOTE-189 trial did not assess whether patients with high PD-L1 expression benefited from the combination therapy.

"The remarkable results of the team led by Drew Pardoll reflects both the power of collaboration between Stand Up To Cancer, the Cancer Research Institute, and the institutions and researchers participating in this Dream Team, as well as Stand Up's funding model which integrates semi-annual, rigorous, in-person reviews, enabling teams to pivot to where the science leads, and to allocate Team resources to trials which are most likely to benefit patients", said Nobel Laureate and Chairperson of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Institute professor at the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. There were also three treatment-related deaths from pneumonitis among Keytruda patients.

Notably, the incidence rate of lung cancer among non-smoking Chinese females is rising comparatively faster compared with those in western countries.

Another superintendent evaluation on agenda for USD 253 board
I think we'll make a good team moving forward and I look forward to what this new board is going to bring", Pasley said. Three others, Voskuhl, Nancy Reynolds and Robert Frisch, are stepping down after their terms end next year.


"We are making progress and we're just looking to accelerate that", Siegel said. But this study included patients with varying levels.

Between the 2 arms, patient characteristics were well balanced. About 1 year later, 16 of the patients were alive and well, and they didn't suffer from cancer anymore. Approximately 88.3% of the cohort were current/former smokers, and 96.1% of patients had adenocarcinoma.

"Atezolizumab [Tecentriq, Genentech] is an anti-PD-L1 antibody that blocks the binding of PD-L1 to its receptors PD-1 and B7, thus restoring tumor-specific immunity", Mark A. Socinski, MD, executive medical director of Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, said during his presentation. However, Keytruda has achieved RFS benefit in higher proportion of patients, compared to Opdivo in clinical studies. "Now, not everybody benefits unfortunately, but some of the people who benefit seem to benefit in a way we've never seen". "PD-L1 may be part of that story here, but maybe not the whole story".

After a median follow-up of 10.5 months, those in the immunotherapy group were half as likely to die.

There was a small increase in acute kidney injury in the Keytruda group compared with chemotherapy alone.

Kowanetz M, et al.

The study was supported by Merck Sharp and Dohme, maker of pembrolizumab.


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