will cancer immunotherapy cure cancer?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by globali, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. globali Registered Senior Member

    I recently read an article about a clinical trial in cancer patients. I don't remember exactly which one it was, but the story went something like this. They randomized 2 groups of patients with some treatment resistant cancer into two groups. The first group would receive the standard of care regimen A and the other would receive the regimen A plus an immune checkpoint inhibitor. The results made headlines as a new revolutionary way to treat those patients might have emerged. The authors demanded an urgent FDA approval and an immediate change of practice.
    So i decided to read the abstract: Patients that received regimen A had 7 months of disease free survival. Patients that received A+checkpoint inhibitor had 9 months. And that was statistically significant. But there was not a difference in overall survival.
    So to my understanding, from the patients perspective this means that if you take the double treatment, you will live the same, but your life will be worse because you will be receiving a heavier treatment from 2 more months.

    Immunotherapy in cancer has been celebrated for quite a while and its truth that some patients seem to get incredible benefits. A big amount of research has been conducted already, and now that most of the low hanging fruits are collected, lets briefly see the landscape so far.
    The greatest benefit seem to be in patients with melanoma. They even claim some cures, however some say that some 10% of melanoma were always cured by themselves for no apparent reason, although this percentage might have increased somewhat, or that immunotherapy is not better than double combinations of newer targeted therapies. In most other tumors they appear to do slightly better than traditional chemotherapy, usually by increasing life for 2-3 months. In other tumors immunotherapy seems to have no benefit at all.

    the question is: although cancer immunotharepy is a definitely revolution, will it be able to eventually cure cancer in most tumor types, or is it a bit hyped?
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    But what evidence do you have that immunotherapy is being hyped? I'm not aware that it is - or not any more than any other supposed "breakthrough" in cancer therapy, which is how just about any encouraging research findings are reported in the poplar press.

    Cancer is like diet and the weather: a surefire way to fill space in a newspaper. But I don"t see a rash of hysterical coverage of immunotherapy anywhere.
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  5. globali Registered Senior Member

    it was this years Nobel prize. A cancer treatment that won the Nobel prize. It made Jimmy Carters tumor disappear,etc. Of course there is a huge coverage...treatment cost can be up to a million dollars per patient.

    here are some critics


    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I must admit I had completely missed this. I have seen no hyped articles in the UK about it. Maybe it has been different in the USA or wherever you are.
    But anyway the answer to your question is obviously no. It won't cure it for everyone in all types Nothing will do that. Cancers are all individual, almost by definition.
  8. BlueSky Registered Senior Member

    I feel cancer is a defiency disease based on what I’ve seen so far.

    Not unlike Scurvy (C) Rickets ( D) Pellagra. ( B3 ) Anemia ( b12 ) Keratomalacia ( A) Just to name few, there are many.

    Research how long it took the British navy to figure this out and then how long it took them to implement changes. Unreal.

    Got interested after my mom died from ovarian cancer few years ago. Terrible disease

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