Wednesday December 12, 2018

New Combo Therapy Found Effective In Kidney Cancer Patients

With this new combination therapy, tumour shrinkage or stabilization was better than that seen in patients taking just one of the two drugs alone, the researchers found

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The study was published in journal The Lancet Oncology. Wikimedia Commons
The study was published in journal The Lancet Oncology. Wikimedia Commons
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Combining an anti-angiogenesis agent, which blocks blood vessel formation, with an immunotherapy agent, has shown promising anti-tumour activity in an early phase clinical trial in patients with advanced kidney cancer who had not been previously treated, says a new study.

The findings of the study involving the combination of anti-angiogenesis agent — axitinib (trade name Inlyta) – and the immunotherapy agent — pembrolizumab (trade name Keytruda) – were published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

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“Our results are unprecedented. The combination doubled the efficacy of the drugs when used alone and the treatment was found to be tolerable,” said Michael Atkins of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and principal investigator for the study.

The immunotherapy agent, pembrolizumab, is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that blocks a self-defense mechanism used by cancer cells to evade attack and destruction by the body's immune cells. Wikimedia Commons
The immunotherapy agent, pembrolizumab, is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that blocks a self-defence mechanism used by cancer cells to evade attack and destruction by the body’s immune cells. Wikimedia Commons

“Specifically, over 90 percent of patients exhibited tumour shrinkage and the disease was kept under control for a median of over 20 months,” Atkins said.

The investigators started their phase-1 clinical trial of this combination in 2014 and enrolled 52 advanced renal cell carcinoma (the most common form of kidney cancer) patients who had not previously been treated for the disease.

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With this new combination therapy, tumour shrinkage or stabilization was better than that seen in patients taking just one of the two drugs alone, the researchers found.

Patients also had fewer liver abnormalities and less fatigue than those treated with other similar combination therapies, Atkins said.

“We think this combination could present a major advance in the treatment of this disease as well as help define effective combinations of similar drugs for other cancers,” Atkins said. (IANS)

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World’s Smallest Wearable Can Help in Preventing Skin Cancer

It also demonstrated the ability to measure white light exposure for seasonal depression, a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year

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World's smallest device to prevent skin cancer, mood disorder risk. Pixabay

Scientists have developed the world’s smallest wearable, battery-free device that can warn people of overexposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) — a leading factor for developing skin cancer.

Currently, people do not know how much UV light they are actually getting. The rugged and waterproof device interacts wirelessly with the phone and helps maintain an awareness and for skin cancer survivors.

Smaller than an M&M (colourful button-shaped chocolates) and thinner than a credit card, the device can optimise treatment of neonatal jaundice, skin diseases, seasonal affective disorder and reduce risk of sunburns and skin cancer.

Users can glue the device on to their hats, clip it to sunglasses or stick it on their nail and can simultaneously record up to three separate wavelengths of light.

It is always on yet never needs to be recharged.

“There is a critical need for technologies that can accurately measure and promote safe UV exposure at a personalised level in natural environments,” said Steve Xu, from Northwestern University in the US.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“We hope people with information about their UV exposure will develop healthier habits when out in the sun,” said Xu.

There are no switches or interfaces to wear out, and it is completely sealed in a thin layer of transparent plastic, the researchers stated, in the paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Participants who mounted device on themselves recorded multiple forms of light exposure during outdoor activities, even in the water.

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The findings showed that it monitored therapeutic UV light in clinical phototherapy booths for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (immune diseases) as well as blue light phototherapy for newborns with jaundice in the neonatal intensive care unit.

It also demonstrated the ability to measure white light exposure for seasonal depression, a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year. (IANS)