Experts are claiming that a cure for cancer is not far on the horizon, as definitive results from innovative cancer drug trials show highly promising results.
The science of using the body’s own cells to attack cancer cells, immunotherapy, has been so successful in recent months that one study saw over 50% of their patients with advanced-stage tumors reduce significantly in size.
Heralded as a “new era” for treating cancer, several of the study’s results were deemed so important they’ve been presented in front of the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.
Head of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Centre, Professor Herbst, has proclaimed the findings as “spectacular”, with no doubt that they could revolutionize the way cancer is tackled.
Reporters were told:
“I think we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way oncology is treated. The potential for long-term survival, cure, is definitely there.”
Treating with two main drugs, ipilimumab and nivolumab, the international study included 945 participants, who were already suffering from advanced stages of cancer.
The results saw that the drugs stopped further cancer cell growth for an average of 12 months in 58% of participants.
A senior official for Cancer Research UK, Dr Alan Worsley, said that treatments which combine both drugs could provide a “powerful one-two punch”. Following this he said “together these drugs could release the brakes on the immune system while blocking cancer’s ability to hide from it”.
He did, however, add a warning before closing his statement:
“Combining these treatments also increases the likelihood of potentially quite severe side effects. Identifying which patients are most likely to benefit will be key to bringing our best weapons against the disease”.
As we wait with bated breath, the coming years might see cancer’s reign coming to an end.