Drugs Found Effective Against Advanced Melanoma
In a new international trial, researchers have found that a combination of two cancer drugs, ipilimumab and nivolumab, stopped tumors from growing for nearly a year in 58 percent of cases.
The trial involved 945 people and led to the tumors shrinking by a third in more than half of the patients for an average of 11.5 months. The combination of drugs works by harnessing the immune system to react to and destroy the cancerous tumors.
The researchers note that side effects may be a significant issue to deal with, which include rash, fatigue and diarrhea. They’re also unsure why the treatment works for some, and not others.
Both drugs used in the trial are developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb; however, many pharmaceutical companies are developing similar drugs that have the same effect on the immune system. Researchers believe that in the future, immunotherapies will be an effective treatment type for many different types of cancer.