Cancer is a leading cause of death and the rush is on to discover and develop treatments that can offer the millions of cancer patients around the world new hope. As thousands of clinical trials are carried out, it is hard to identify the best and most intriguing new medications on the market; however, we have found three new treatments that require a closer look.
Merck & Co’s Keytruda is a checkpoint PD-1 inhibiting drug that switches off the proteins that help to hide cancer from the immune system and could be the most revolutionary new cancer treatment to receive FDA approval. Initially used in the later stages of cancer treatment when other treatments have failed, this drug is now being used as a first-line cancer treatment for patients with metastatic NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) whose tumours have high (over 50 per cent) PD-L1 expression with no ALK or EGRF mutations.
This remarkable drug has shown to be superior to chemotherapy. Keytruda has improved objective response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival rates while providing an impressive 50 per cent lower risk of cancer progression and death.
The FDA’s approval of Keytruda in first-line treatment use for patients with metastatic NSCLC does not include those who are ALK-positive; however, Ariad Pharmaceuticals’ Brigatinib may assist in helping such patients. Brigatinib has been shown to halt disease progression in NSCLC patients who are ALK-positive by around 16 months. Ariad is currently awaiting FDA approval for Brigatinib.
Kite Pharma’s KTE-C19 is a re-engineering of T-cells. By supercharging these T-cells, they are better equipped to seek and destroy stubborn blood cancer cells. The adjusted T-cells are more able to recognise CD19 proteins that exist on the surfaces of B-cell cancer cells. Studies have shown that introducing these re-engineered T-cells back into the bodies of patients is demonstrating impressive results in the fight against cancer.
Professional clinical staffing is vital in carrying out these trials, with companies such as http://www.gandlscientific.com/clinical-staffing-solutions/ providing expert trial staff to ensure studies are run correctly and to improve the likelihood of drugs receiving FDA approval.
With these three new developments in the fight against cancer, patients are being offered glimmers of hope. As science and technology progresses, so does our ability to understand and create medication to help cancer patients.