IMMUNOTHERAPY BOOSTS SURVIVAL CHANCES FOR LUNG CANCER PATIENTS
03, Jun 2019
Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
Why in News:
- An immunotherapy treatment helped significantly boost survival rates among patients suffering from advanced lung cancer, according to the results of a clinical trial cited by researchers.
- Almost 25% of patients who received the drug Pembrolizumab and had not previously received chemotherapy were alive after five years. The figure dropped to just over 15% for patients who had previously received chemotherapy. Unlike chemotherapy, immunotherapy works by leveraging the body’s own immune system to fight disease.
More effective T-cells
- The drug acts by turning off a brake in the immune system, a protein called PD-1, which then allows cancer-fighting T-cells to attack faster and more effectively.
- Moving forward, team would like to identify other biomarkers to further improve survival rates.
- A biomarker is a measurable indicator of the severity or presence of some disease state.
- More generally a biomarker is anything that can be used as an indicator of a particular disease state or some other physiological state of an organism.