A drug that uses the immune system system to fight a common type of cancer just got approved



Hopefully this will be successful and lead to similar therapies for other cancers.


Great news! Thanks for sharing it.


:D:thumbsup::yup::bounce: Bravo!


I don’t get it. It doesn’t even have a novel mechanism as other drugs that target PD-1 also exist.


This can only be good news, as the inhibitor class drugs are the well-established next wave. The problem is that PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors are not effective in every case, even against essentially identical cancers. A cancer cell is a cancer cell is a cancer cell - except for that unique DNA sequence that differentiates us, one from another. Thus, your liver cancer and your neighbor’s liver cancer may be substantially different, even though they both affect the liver. It is simply that your neighbor’s liver is genetically different from your own. And neighbor’s cancer cells express different proteins on their surface than yours do. So, the same medication may not be effective.

What scientists attempt to achieve is a drug which inhibits the cell checkpoints in the widest variety of cancerous cells. This is monumentally difficult. Another bit of good news is that this new drug will now enter clinical trials in other varieties of cancer. Bristol-Meyers Squibb makes a new drug named Opdivo. It is a PD-1 inhibitor that is approved for metastatic melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer - two quite different cancers. But, the plus is that it has been shown to have good effect against certain lymphomas.

So the blessing is that the checkpoint inhibitor class of drugs have a certain effectiveness beyond what was originally thought.


Pretty bad that a DRUG has to be used to activate the immune system to fight cancer.


We all need a little help sometimes.

Also, most anything can be used as a drug and not all drugs are bad. Take the lovely cacao bean, used to create chocolate, which is used to improve ones mental state in self-medicating… Coffee is another one of those items that people use like a drug when they want to stay awake.


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