Immunotherapy trial offers new hope for men with prostate cancer
A major immunotherapy drug trial has been shown to be effective in some men with advanced prostate cancer who had stopped responding to the main treatment options.
Researchers found that a small number of patients, who have been described as “super responders”, remained well even after the end of the trial, despite having a very poor prognosis before their treatment commenced.
Immunotherapy identifies and attacks cancer cells through the use of our own immune systems. It is already being used as a standard treatment for some cancers, such as melanomas, and is currently being tested on other forms of the disease.
The study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that one in 20 men with advanced prostate cancer responded well to the drug (pembrolizumab) in that their tumours either shrank or disappeared completely. Although a relatively small number, some of the patients gained years of extra life, and a further 19 per cent saw some evidence of improvement.
Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, said of the trial “Immunotherapy has tremendous benefits for some cancer patients, and it’s fantastic news that even in prostate cancer, where we don’t see much immune activity, a proportion of men are responding well to treatment.
“It’s encouraging to see testing for DNA repair mutations may identify some patients who are more likely to respond, and I’m keen to see how the new, larger trial in this group of patients plays out.”
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Posted by Karen Motley, Clinical Negligence Department, Chadwick Lawrence LLP (email@example.com ), medical negligence lawyers and clinical negligence solicitors in Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax, West Yorkshire.
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