London, Nov 27: An immunotherapy drug has the potential to treat a rare pregnancy cancer belonging to a group of diseases called gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), results of a clinical trial show.
Three out of four patients with the cancerous forms of GTD went into remission after receiving the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab in a clinical trial carried out by researchers at London’s Imperial College.
The findings, published in the journal Lancet, suggest that immunotherapy could be used as a a safer alternative to conventional treatment for the disease.
Pembrolizumab is the trial drug/ immunotherapeutic agent:
The trial, which took place at Charing Cross Hospital, is the first to show that Pembrolizumab can be used to successfully treat women with GTD, according to the study
The researchers hope that this small early stage study could provide another treatment option for women who have drug-resistant GTD and lead to a 100 per cent cure rate.
“We have been able to show for the first time that immunotherapy may be used to cure patients of cancerous GTD,” said Professor Michael Seckl, lead author of the study.
The current treatments to tackle GTD cure most cases of the disease. However, there are a small number of women whose cancers are resistant to conventional therapies and as a result have a fatal outcome,” Seckl added.
“Immunotherapy may be a life-saving treatment and can be used as an alternative to the much more toxic high dose chemotherapy that is currently used,” Seckl said.
GTD is the term used to describe abnormal cells or tumors that start in the womb from cells that normally give rise to the placenta. They are extremely rare but can happen during or after pregnancy.
Globally, 18,000 women are diagnosed annually with cancerous forms of GTD, most of whom are cured with chemotherapy or surgery.
However, up to five per cent of these women’s outcomes are fatal due to factors such as chemotherapy resistance and rare forms of the cancer such as placental site trophoblastic tumours (PSTT) that develop four or more years after the causative pregnancy has ended. (IANS)
- Do you want to stay fit and longer? Daily push-ups and sit-ups may add a few extra years to your lifespan, reveals new research.
Benefits of doing Strength-based Exercise
The research found that the people who did strength-based exercise had a 23 percent reduction in risk of premature death and a 31 percent reduction in cancer-related death.
“The study shows that strength-based exercise may be just as important for health as aerobic activities like jogging or cycling,” said Emmanuel Stamatakis, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney in Australia.
“And assuming our findings reflect cause and effect relationships, it may be even more vital when it comes to reducing the risk of death from cancer,” Stamatakis added.
The researchers observed 80,306 adults for two years and made some adjustments in order to reduce the influence of certain factors such as age, sex, health status, lifestyle behavior and educational level.
All participants with established cardiovascular disease or cancer at the baseline and those who passed away in the meanwhile were excluded from the study.
The research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that exercises performed using one’s own body weight without specific equipment were just as effective as gym-based training.
“When people think of strength-based exercise, they instantly think of doing weights in a gym, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” noted Stamatakis.
“Many people are intimidated by gyms, the costs or the culture they promote, so it’s great to know that anyone can do classic exercises like triceps dips, sit-ups, push-ups or lunges in their own home or local park and potentially reap the same health benefits,” the researcher said. (IANS)
New York, October 29, 2017 : A novel iPhone-based portable ultrasound machine that can help detect cancer easily at home has been developed by US researchers.