Before a cancer patient is subjected to treatment, he or she is provided with a disclaimer that the treatment may not be as effective as it was with other patients. While doctors want to see their patients well, there is one treatment for cancer that worries them. This is because it might be so effective that it can actually be more dangerous that get rid of tumors in patients.
Two Anti-Cancer Drugs
A research trial was conducted to see if it was effective to combine different drugs in fighting melanoma. Two were used in the trial, which are antibodies known as Yervoy and Opdivo. Yervoy is used in medicine to interfere with molecules that turn off T-cells or a cell that fights off cancer cells. Meanwhile, Opdivo is used to block a pathway that leads to T-cell death. Clearly, these two drugs have their own ways of helping fight cancer, but they are both effective in stimulating the immune system in combating cells that cause cancer.
The Research Trial
More than 140 patients with metastasized melanoma went through a trial that assigned them to certain groups. One group had to take Yervoy with placebo while another took Yervoy with Opdivo. It was discovered in the trial that those who took Yervoy and Opdivo fared better than those with Yervoy and placebo only.
The results showed that 53% of the patience had their tumors shrink to at least 80% while 22% of the subjects had their melanoma to be undetected after the study. These numbers are definitely positive and provided hope for patients with stage IV cancer. However, there is one curious case in which a 49-year-old woman experienced a total disappearance of her tumor.
The Tumor Disappeared
After four years of being on chemotherapy and surgery treatments, the woman was astounded to see that her tumor was completely dissolved after the trial. This could have been positive news, except for the fact that there is now a gaping hole in her chest where the tumor once was. The woman received one dose of the combined two drugs, Yervoy and Opdivo. The dramatic response may seem like a blessing to cancer patients, but experts are worried about the effectiveness of the therapy.
Although the treatment benefited the patient, the hole in her chest proves that the combined efforts of the drugs may be a little too aggressive for some people. Further research is necessary to understand this treatment, especially if it is safe for cancer patients.