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breakthrough cancer treatment, PD-1

testing for monoclonal antibodies in breakthrough cancer treatment

breakthrough cancer treatment, PD-1

It is a beautiful rainy day. The sort of day that it would be lovely to go into some lush cafe in the city and drink coffee in the warmth.

What are you up to this weekend? I have just been reading up on a ‘breakthrough’ drug for use in the treatment of cancer. Lambrolizumab (MK-3475) works on an interesting facet of cancer tumour development.

Programmed Cell Death Antibodies

Tumours are able to express the Programmed Cell Death Ligand or PD-L1, which binds to the Programmed Cell death molecule PD-1, and stops T cells (immune system cells) from attacking the tumour.

This drug which is an anti PD-1 antibody, stops the interaction between PD-L1 and PD-1, thereby allowing T cells to attack the tumour growth.

Phase I Trial

testing for monoclonal antibodies in cancer breakthrough treatmentA trial has shown 38 % of patients of the study responded with a 30 % decrease in tumour size, and continued to respond to treatment, as measured at 11 months after treatment began.

Patients treated at a higher dose of 10mg/kg every two weeks had a better response rate (52 %).

Side effects

The side effects of this breakthrough drug are much less onerous than previous drugs such as Interleukin 2, with rashes, fatigue and increased liver enzymes being the result of ‘high grade toxicities’.

Designated as breakthrough cancer treatment

It would seem as though they are getting closer to finding a cure for this disease, that one of two people die from.

Many of the alternative medicine advice revolves around strengthening the immune system, however, if the cancer cells produce the PD-L1 molecule, which is able to stop immune cells from detecting and destroying the tumour, it would seem that this new drug might have the key to allowing our own immune systems to fight cancer more effectively.

References:

http://www.cancercommons.org/2013/06/06/another-anti-pd1-immunotherapy-shows-high-response-rate-and-durable-responses-in-melanoma/

http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/PD-1-Targeted-Antibody-Lambrolizumab-Receives-FDA-Breakthrough-Designation

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