Drug Company Ends Experimental Drug Trial Early Due To Its Outstanding Performance For Fighting Skin Cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said it ended its top experimental drug trial after people suffering with skin cancer and using the medication showed significant overall survival compared to the people who were using chemotherapy.

After the independent data monitoring committee’s analysis, the chemotherapy group patients were permitted to use Nivolumab.

According to the company, Nivolumab, in over 30 studies, is being tested against a number of tumor kinds.  It’s the first drug in a class that looks to assist the immune system to fight cancer by protecting PD-1, the fundamental protein that controls immune response.

Michael Giordano, head of the oncology department for the New York-based company, said a number of patients suffering with the spread of skin cancer showed, in the randomized, well-controlled Phase 3 trial looking at the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, that there was an inclusive survival advantage.

The company did not say what the length of times for survival rates were for patients taking Nivolumab compared to people who were a chemotherapy treatment known as dacarbazine (DTIC).

The research into immune therapies for cancer sped up two years ago after Bristol-Myers earlier study of Nivolumab found it reduced the size of tumors in 28 percent of skin cancer patients, 27 percent for people suffering with kidney cancer and 18 percent for people who are suffering with advanced lung cancer.  At the yearly American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting held in Chicago earlier this month, there were over 70 immune therapies presentations.

The study by Bristol-Meyers had 418 advanced melanoma patients that were unable to go through surgery and not treated for the disease in any way. In the past, 75 percent of advanced melanoma patients died within one year, which makes it a highly aggressive kind of cancer.

The National Cancer Institute said there is an estimated of more than 76,000 new melanoma cases in the United States every year. Of those diagnosed, nearly over 9,700 deaths  have been linked to the deaths.

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Posted by on Jun 25 2014. Filed under Health, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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