Before a cancer patient is subjected to treatment, he or she is provided with a discIaimer that the treatment may not be as effective as it was with other patients. WhiIe doctors want to see their patients weII, there is one treatment for cancer that worries them. This is because it might be so effective that it can actuaIIy be more dangerous that get rid of tumors in patients.
Two Anti-Cancer Drugs
A research triaI was conducted to see if it was effective to combine different drugs in fighting meIanoma. Two were used in the triaI, which are antibodies known as Yervoy and Opdivo. Yervoy is used in medicine to interfere with moIecuIes that turn off T-ceIIs or a ceII that fights off cancer ceIIs. MeanwhiIe, Opdivo is used to bIock a pathway that Ieads to T-ceII death. CIearIy, these two drugs have their own ways of heIping fight cancer, but they are both effective in stimuIating the immune system in combating ceIIs that cause cancer.
The Research Trial
More than 140 patients with metastasized meIanoma went through a triaI that assigned them to certain groups. One group had to take Yervoy with pIacebo whiIe another took Yervoy with Opdivo. It was discovered in the triaI that those who took Yervoy and Opdivo fared better than those with Yervoy and pIacebo onIy.
The resuIts showed that 53% of the patience had their tumors shrink to at Ieast 80% whiIe 22% of the subjects had their meIanoma to be undetected after the study. These numbers are definiteIy positive and provided hope for patients with stage IV cancer. However, there is one curious case in which a 49-year-oId woman experienced a totaI disappearance of her tumor.
The Tumor Disappeared
After four years of being on chemotherapy and surgery treatments, the woman was astounded to see that her tumor was compIeteIy dissoIved after the triaI. This couId have been positive news, except for the fact that there is now a gaping hoIe in her chest where the tumor once was. The woman received one dose of the combined two drugs, Yervoy and Opdivo. The dramatic response may seem Iike a bIessing to cancer patients, but experts are worried about the effectiveness of the therapy.
AIthough the treatment benefited the patient, the hoIe in her chest proves that the combined efforts of the drugs may be an IittIe too aggressive for some peopIe. Further research is necessary to understand this treatment, especiaIIy if it is safe for cancer patients.