‘Amazing’ results reported for new melanoma combination immuno-therapy


Another post from the 50th meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)(earlier post). Extremely promising results were shown for a new combination immunotherapy for melanoma (ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb), investigational antibody nivolumab (Bristol-Myers Squibb)). Melanoma has been a tricky, hard to treat cancer for researchers, so this small study is truly remarkable.

“Concurrent use of the 2 immune-checkpoint blockade agents has produced the “unprecedented” overall survival rates for metastatic melanoma of 85% at 1 year and 79% at 2 years in a phase 1 study, said lead author Mario Sznol, MD, from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

The median overall survival for the 53 patients treated in the study was 40 months — also unprecedented. “That’s amazing,” Dr. Sznol told Medscape Medical News.”


Medscape article here.

Summary and more findings.

‘Breathtaking’ cancer research needs more funding!!!

The 50th meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology celebrated the recent ‘breathtaking’ science and breakthroughs in the field of cancer research and treatment. However, the meeting and its experts highlighted that while these amazing accomplishments have cured millions of cancer patients, more research is needed to cure millions more. And to do that, more funding of biomedical science and cancer is needed. The progress that has been made, will not continue for those patients still in need without a return to the funding levels that supported all of the incredible previous cancer research. Article here.

“The scientific breakthroughs in cancer are occurring at a breathtaking pace and are being translating into new drugs and devices that benefit patients more quickly than ever before,” said Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of ASCO. However, he warned that this progress is in jeopardy due to a shortage of research funds, particularly from the National Institutes of Health, the largest government funder of US scientific research wich in 2013 had a budget of 28.9 billion dollars.

“The NIH budget has been flat for more than a decade and when adjusted for inflation… is nearly 25 percent lower today than in 2003,” he said.