Two separate studies concluded that two new drugs for kidney cancer proved to be far more effective than all the available treatments, preparing the ground for introducing the new options to patients with advanced kidney cancer.
Both studies were presented at the European Cancer Congress in Vienna, and also published in the same journal, the New England Journal of Medicine. The benefit both the new drugs bring to the table are nothing short of indisputable.
In one of the researches, scientists asked patients to take Opdivo (produced by Bristol-Myers Squibb). The study showed that the patients under this medication had a longevity far greater than those who took Afinitor (produced by Novartis AG). More precisely, they lived with the disease 25 more months than those who took the other medicine.
The advantage was first seen in a provisional trial test back in July. The good results were noticed by the scientists, which were encouraged to set the stage of a wider study in order to study the drug’s effects.
The second study examined a drug which is called cabozantinib, produced by Exelixis Inc. Compared to other medication such as Afinitor, cabozantinib kep kidney cancer from evolving for nearly 8 months, twice as much as Afinitor. More precisely, the drug was 42% more effective than the best available medication.
Though both studies showed excellent cause and effect results, accordion to experts, only a small percentage of the treatment responses could be considered objective – about 25% in the case of Opdivo, and 20% in the cabozantinib study. The critics’ reactions are due the fact that researchers had some disappointingly elusive complete treatment responses.
The editorial from the New England Journal of Medicine noted that the two studies have to find ways to pinpoint what patients might benefit from a combination of drugs in order find more ways that would expand the drug’s full potential.
There are about 60,000 new cases of kidney cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, the disease kills nearly 15,000 patients annually. Statistics also show that one third of the cases are diagnosed too late, after the cancer already entered in metastasis and spread beyond the kidney.
Afinitor has been approved in the last decade by the Food and Drug Administration, along with other new drugs, but their long-term efficiency is average at best.
Of the two new drugs, Opdivo looks especially helpful, since it may be very efficient when it comes to predicting the way tumors respond to immunotherapy.
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