New therapies harness power of the immune system against cancer

June 2nd, 2014 in Cancer /

New research on innovative immunotherapies for advanced or high-risk melanoma and cervical cancer were presented today at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). These treatments – used alone or in combination – fight cancer by activating and amplifying the body's immune response to the disease.

The new studies find high activity with investigative drugs for advanced , and show for the first time that ipilimumab, a already approved for advanced melanoma, can substantially decrease the risk of melanoma recurrence in certain with earlier-stage disease. In addition, another small trial reports that a one-time, personalized immunotherapy treatment induces complete and long-lasting remissions in a small number of women with advanced – a disease with little to no effective treatment options.

"The field of immunotherapy has exploded in the last decade, and more and more patients are benefiting," said press briefing moderator Steven O'Day, MD, ASCO expert and clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. "Having a potential new way to keep melanoma at bay is a major advance for patients who live under the constant fear of recurrence after surgery. It's also incredibly exciting that we're extending the benefits of immunotherapy beyond melanoma, to diseases like cervical cancer where patients urgently need better options."

Featured studies include:

Provided by American Society of Clinical Oncology

"New therapies harness power of the immune system against cancer." June 2nd, 2014. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-06-therapies-harness-power-immune-cancer.html