A new research study has proven the effects and high rates of success of immunotherapy for lung cancer patients. This will transform the treatment of lung cancer as the results suggest ” pre-treating lung cancer patients with immune therapy drugs before they have surgery can help melt away the tumor and at the same time limit or even stop its spread.” (link)
Immunotherapy has been used to treat some of the less common cancers with growing success. It helps the body fight off the cancer by boosting the immune system, and unmasking the cancer cells. In the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago on Monday (4/16/2018), the findings are astonishing.
- 600 lung cancer patients who were given both chemotherapy and immunotherapy drug called Keytruda are reported 51% less likely to die compared to those who just got the chemo.
- A team at Johns Hopkins medical school treated 20 patients with one of the immune therapy drugs before they had surgery to remove lung cancer tumors. A year later, 16 patients were alive and the cancer was still undetectable.
Though the findings are very promising news in the treatment of cancer in general, currently the cost to pursue a course immunotherapy is roughly $100,000. And further studies are still needed before doctors can all agree this is a “cure” for cancer patients.