Recently, in Geneva, Switzerland, there was the European Lung Cancer Congress 2018 (ELCC). There, scientists in the field presented more proof that immunotherapy helps the long-term survival of the patients suffering from lung cancer.
The researchers presented the results of their study. They underwent a three-year one that focused on the survival of the NSCLC patients (non-small-cell lung cancer). The patients were randomized from 61 sites found in 13 countries. The number of the people rose to 287, and the scientists compared the results when using the antibody atezolizumab or docetaxel. According to the results, 1/3 of the patients that took atezolizumab were alive 2 years after the study, compared to just 16.6% in the other group. Moreover, three years later, there were almost twice survivors in the atezolizumab group, as opposed to the docetaxel one.
What Does This Mean?
Let’s have a look at what the lead author Dr. Julien Mazieres, from the Toulouse University Hospital, declared. According to him, atezolizumab became one of the best drugs that prolongs lung cancer patients’ lives. He underlined the fact that all subgroups of patients had some benefits following the drug prescription. However, he added that the doctors can’t predict exactly which patients will live for three more years.
The best part is that he declared that the drug was well tolerated by the patients. This means that they can continue to take it for years in a row, thus prolonging their lives even more. He added that some of the patients who followed the atezolizumab treatment now have a good quality of life and they even went back to work.
The conclusion is that with immunotherapy, we can now look at a new type of patient: a long-term survivor with lung cancer. Moreover, they can go back to leading a normal life, thanks to the revolutionary discoveries in the field.