Immunotherapy Drug Doubles Long-Term Survival Rate For Melanoma Patients
Opdivo is a checkpoint inhibitor, which releases the break on the immune system allowing a patient's body to fight the cancer. Research released on Sunday shows that patients who received the drug had a 34 percent survival rate 5 years out. A similar immunotherapy drug, Keytruda, was part of Jimmy Carter's successful treatment for advanced melanoma.
The Washington Post:
Long-Term Survival Rates Double For Melanoma Patients Getting Immunotherapy
More than a third of advanced-melanoma patients who received one of the new immunotherapy drugs in an early trial were alive five years after starting treatment -- double the survival rate typical of the disease, according to a new study. The data, released Sunday at a cancer conference, showed that 34 percent of patients with metastatic melanoma who received Opdivo, an immunotherapy drug also known as nivolumab, have survived. The five-year survival rate for patients with advanced melanoma who got other treatments was 16.6 percent between 2005 and 2011, according to the National Cancer Institute. ... Doctors used (a similar) immunotherapy drug Keytruda, along with radiation, to treat former president Jimmy Carter. (McGinley, 4/17)
The Wall Street Journal:
Bristol’s Opdivo Shows Benefits In Cancer Immunotherapy Trial
Opdivo is one of three so-called checkpoint inhibitors currently on the market. Blocking the checkpoints releases molecular brakes, thus allowing immune system cells called T cells to attack cancer. Opdivo, and a rival called Keytruda from Merck & Co. target a brake called PD-1. (Both are approved for melanoma and for lung cancer.) (Winslow, 4/17)