Showing posts from March, 2018

‘Advanced cervical cancer needs chemo-radiotherapy, not surgery’

An eleven-year-long trial by the  Tata Memorial Hospital  (TMH) has established that women with advanced  cervical cancer should not be treated with surgery, which is widely offered the world over. Instead, a combination of  chemotherapy and radiotherapy increases five-year survival chances. The findings assume significance in India, where 60 per cent of cervical  cancer  cases are detected at an advanced stage. The trial highlights the need for India to vastly increase radiotherapy centres from the meagre 530 that exist today, that too mostly in metro cities. The five-year disease-free survival rate in women with second-stage cervical cancer who received chemo-radiotherapy combo was 77 per cent against 70 per cent in those who underwent cycles of chemo and surgery, clearly established non-surgical treatment as the better plan. The study was published in the February edition of Journal of Clinical Oncology. Oncologist and principal investigator Dr Sudeep Gupta said the study has put

Merck Turns to Tumor-Killing Viruses in Immune Cancer Treatment

Scientists have tried to muster viruses to hunt and kill tumors for almost 70 years, with limited success. That may be changing. Now, microbes are playing an important role in an emerging branch of cancer immunotherapy that’s attracting some of the world’s biggest drugmakers. Merck announced plans to buy Australia’s Viralytics Ltd. last week to gain an experimental cold virus-based treatment that may bolster the utility of Keytruda, its blockbuster cancer medicine. The A$502 million ($390 million) deal underscores the importance of research into so-called oncolytic viruses, which work by infecting and destroying tumor cells as well as stimulating an immune response. The approach is garnering growing interest from pharmaceutical companies because of the possibility of coupling these viruses with a new generation of medicines, called  checkpoint inhibitors , that counter a strategy cancer cells use to escape detection. Read More: Checkpoint Inhibitors’ $42 Bi