Scientists were able to make a major breakthrough in the treatment of extremely aggressive forms of skin cancer and using combination therapy to completely destroy the tumor in 22% of patients.
The combination of the two drugs showed high efficacy in the treatment of melanoma At the largest conference on cancer diseases reported by experts from the cancer Institute Dana-Farber (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute DFCI, USA) and the hospital Royal Marsden (Royal Marsden Hospital, UK). The results obtained by these scientists offer hope for a cure more than 14500 patients. That’s how many people in great Britain every year hear the terrible diagnosis — melanoma.
Melanoma typically leaves only a few months of life after diagnosis. But in the framework of the studies, when doctors used simultaneously two drugs for the treatment of 142 patients with melanoma, 69% of patients were able to live about two years. To the surprise of scientists, 22% of patients at the end of the course disappeared altogether malignant tumor.
Scientists say that both used drugs are effective against cancer and employ the power of their own immune system, however, only about half of the patients respond positively to one of the two medications.
Dr. James Larkin (Dr James Larkin) of the hospital Royal Marsden, which treated patients in the study noted that both drugs Nvolume (Nivolumab) and Ipilimumab (Ipilimumab) has increased the life expectancy after detection of melanoma, but their combination is much more effective.
Dr. Stephen Hodi (Dr Stephen Hodi) from the Institute of cancer research Dana-Farber, who led the study, said that these data contribute to the understanding of aggressive cancer and are promising news for patients with different stages of melanoma.
Despite the fact that during the “double attack” the combination of these drugs gives a much greater efficiency, an international team of researchers, who presented their data at the meeting of the American Association for cancer research in New Orleans, warned that a double dose also increases the risk of side effects.
According to Professor Richard Marais (Prof Richard Marais) expert on skin cancer from Cancer Research UK these surprising results show that the treatment of patients with malignant melanoma using a combination of medications and immunotherapy can help many people extend the life. However, he stressed that due to the high risk of serious side effects while taking the two drugs required to determine which patients will likely be able to obtain a positive trend during the treatment using a combination of tools and which high risks of adverse effects. This will help doctors to provide each patient the right treatment.