New Drug Shows Great Promise in Treating Lung Cancer
It is estimated that more than 200,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the United States. Some 160,000 people die from this disease annually across the country. With those grim numbers in mind, researchers work around the clock devising new methods for detection and treatment. A new breakthrough in the treatment department is shedding a ray of hope for those who treat this disease with many calling it “transformative.”
The new breakthrough involves the use of a drug called Keytruda. While still in its testing phases, Keytruda has gone through clinical trials with incredibly promising results.
Keytruda works in a different way than standard cancer-killing drugs. Rather than seek out and destroy cells like standard chemotherapy drugs, Keytruda, aims to get the body to do the dirty work on its own.
Cancer is known to suppress the immune system, but Keytruda is designed to stop communication between cancer cells and key proteins. This essentially enables the body’s own natural immune system to kick in and start doing its job. Some patients involved in the clinical trial have watched as, over time, Keytruda has dramatically reduced tumor size on their lungs and in areas where the disease spread.
While full FDA approval for Keytruda is still pending, the agency has assigned a priority review. The drug can be used for patients who have advanced non-small cell lung cancer. A final decision is hoped to arrive on October, allowing for more widespread use in treating lung cancer.
Keytruda isn’t just showing itself effective for treating lung cancer either. The FDA has already approved its use for melanoma and data suggests it could be helpful in treating kidney, bladder and some breast cancers, as well. Studies in relation to the drug’s effects on these types of cancer are already under way.
People who are concerned about lung cancer are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. This disease if caught early can be treated effectively in some cases. Exact treatment options will hinge on a person’s unique case.