OCT 06, 2020 8:30 AM PDT

New Immunotherapy Drug Effective Against Lung Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

A new study has confirmed that Tecentriq, an immunotherapy drug, improves survival rates among those with newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC), which make up 85% of lung tumors. The drug was approved by the FDA earlier this year. 

Tecentriq (atezolizumab) is a checkpoint inhibitor drug. As such, it works by targeting a protein called PD-L1 that lies on the surface of tumor cells and signals the body’s immune system T cells not to attack certain pathogens. Targeting PD-L1 thus ensures that the body’s natural T cells do not get inhibited and can attack and destroy unwanted pathogens- in this case, cancer cells. 

For the study, researchers included 554 patients with stage 4 metastatic NSCLC tumors. All patients had tumors that lacked mutations in the EGFR and ALK genes, as patients with these markers tend to be better treated by other drugs. 

In the end, the researchers found that the 205 patients whose tumors had a high cellular expression of PD-L1, and who received Tecentriq, had a median overall survival rate of 20 months. Meanwhile, those who received the standard platinum-based chemotherapy treatment had an overall survival rate of just 13 months. 

The researchers also noted that median progression-free survival- the time taken from treatment to the disease worsening- was eight months for those on Tecentriq and five months for those on standard chemotherapy. 

Although generally well-tolerated among patients, the researchers say that they did not test the drug against an increasingly used treatment- standard chemotherapy in addition to immunotherapy drug, Keytruda. This, they say, is because the study started before these new treatments made it to clinical practice. As such, they say that usage of Tecentriq may nevertheless provide another non-chemotherapy treatment option for those with PD-L1-high lung cancer. 

 

Sources: WebMDNews Medical

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
SEP 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
New Drug Combo Prolongs Survival with Advanced Kidney Cancer
SEP 20, 2020
New Drug Combo Prolongs Survival with Advanced Kidney Cancer
Biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb has found that a new drug combination can reduce death rates among those ...
OCT 03, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Compound Prevents Colon Cancer in Mice
OCT 03, 2020
Cannabis Compound Prevents Colon Cancer in Mice
Second only to skin cancer, colon cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the US. Now, resea ...
OCT 06, 2020
Cardiology
A New Heart Drug Taken from a Yellow Dye
OCT 06, 2020
A New Heart Drug Taken from a Yellow Dye
Cardiovascular disease is an ever-present issue in the modern world.  One of the most unfortunate cardiovascular ev ...
OCT 23, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FDA Gives Full Approval to Remdesivir to Treat COVID-19
OCT 23, 2020
FDA Gives Full Approval to Remdesivir to Treat COVID-19
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved antiviral drug Remdesivir, sold under the name ‘Velkury&rsq ...
NOV 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
NOV 01, 2020
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative illness that damages motor neurons and leads to progressive m ...
NOV 05, 2020
Immunology
Awakening Ancient DNA to Kill Cancer
NOV 05, 2020
Awakening Ancient DNA to Kill Cancer
In a recent study published in Nature, scientists from the University of Toronto described the discovery of ancient DNA ...
Loading Comments...