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A drug that saved American president

The solution lung cancer medicine long marking time. Great Expectations therefore raises emergence of a new type of treatment - immunotherapy. Can this method just hit a sensitive spot cancer?

Hope for really sick

A study published in late 2015 in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet showed that the drug pembrolizumab can prolong the lives of people with advanced lung cancer . This material is commonly used for treating other tumor types. Public awareness came mainly thanks to the "miraculous" cure of former US President Jimmy Carter from metastatic melanoma.

In this study, researchers compared the effects of the active ingredient docetaxel (chemotherapy) and pembrolizumabu (immunotherapy) for thousands of people with advanced NSCLC. Tumor cells of these patients, produce a protein known as PD-L1. Immunotherapy effect was most pronounced in people with the highest levels of PD-L1 - they lived almost 2 × longer compared to patients undergoing chemotherapy. But also brought benefits to patients with lower amounts of the protein. With treatment pembrolizumabem was also associated lower incidence of side effects.

The sooner the better

The results of the study indicate that the immunotherapy in patients with lung cancer may begin no sooner than in advanced stages. "I believe that we should deploy the best possible treatment we have available, as soon as possible. Now, when we found out that people may be using this medication most beneficial, we can deploy its move towards a less advanced stages of cancer, "says an American physician Roy Herbst, who led the research team." I'm very curious to see the results of ongoing studies. They tested pembrolizumab as the drug of first choice or supplemental preparation after surgical treatment, which should reduce the high number of cases of lung cancer return, "he adds.
Similarly, it expresses the American doctor Len Horowitz, who works at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York: "It's fascinating advances in cancer treatment, which may mean the dawn of a new approach based on the substrate immunotherapy."

accurate targeting

Today is pembrolizumab used to treat:
small cell lung cancer,
metastatic melanoma,
squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

If he finds application in the treatment of other cancers, it is currently the subject of various ongoing studies. In the meantime, doctors are thankful just for the fact that in the case of lung cancer finally got their hands on yet most accurate weapon ever had.

Source: Targeted léč

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