Immunotherapy Could Assist to Wipe-Out Breast Cancer Forever, Study Finds

by Stephen Riddle
Immunotherapy Could Assist to Wipe-Out Breast Cancer Forever, Study Finds

The number of cancer patients is surging across the globe. Currently, there are many treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, etc., to treat the fatal disease. At some point, those measures have no impact. Cancer is a deadly disease which comes back even after removal of the affected part and sometimes spreads faster. As a result, the patient dies due to lack of treatment. It is because these treatments work only in the first stages of the disease. Whereas, scientists are trying to invent new ways to treat the fatal disease. Researchers have seen a new ray of hope for the patients fighting with triple-negative breast cancer, i.e., TNBC. A trial has suggested a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy could significantly lessen the re-arrival of cancer.

TNBC or triple-negative breast cancer is a violent form of breast cancer. It is a TNBC when the cancer tumor test results negative for three components – two hormones progesterone and estrogen and the HER2 protein. Commonly, doctors treat this strange form of cancer by operation or chemotherapy. Now scientists have found a new way which empowers the patient’s immune system. In other words, patients having the triple-negative form of cancer are more probable to wipe out the disease. Even more, the treatment increases the chances of TNBC never coming back.

The research, bestowed at the ESMO 2019 Congress, asserts that treating TNBC with immunotherapy could prove useful. Immunotherapy is a type of cancer remedy that assists the human body to acquire a skill in identifying and then attack cancer cells. Prof. Peter Schmid from the Queen Mary University of London is the leading author of the clinical trial. During the latest study, scientists have analyzed the effectiveness of treating TNBC with both chemotherapy and immunotherapy. They have surveyed between March 2017 to September 2018, across 124 regions in 21 nations. Among the participants, more than a thousand patients had surgery along with chemotherapy sessions to shrink their cancerous tumors.

Among those, around 784 patients were given pembrolizumab, the immunotherapy medicine, pre- and post-surgery. While, the remaining candidates were offered with placebo at pre- and post-surgery. As a result, scientists have found that around 68% of people, from the group taking immunotherapy medicine, did not have re-emergence of cancer in the tissue. Prof. Peter noted that the treatment is 13.6% more effective than the group received a placebo. He says these primary findings pinpoint that the combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy results in a significant reduction in re-emergence of such breast cancer.

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