The combination of two immunotherapeutic drugs – nivolumab and ipilimumab – appears to reduce tumors in patients with advanced cancer. He informed about it The Guardian.
Study participants usually lived three months longer than those treated with more conventional chemotherapy. For some, however, the above-mentioned drug may have helped much more.
“When I was told about this clinical trial, I didn’t hesitate to join – what could I have lost?” Patient Barry Ambrose recalled. “It turned out to be a lifeline.”
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Barry’s doctors had originally told them that they could do virtually nothing about his neck cancer because it had spread to his lungs. But the new treatment probably cleared the throat, and subsequent chemotherapy and surgery did the same with the lungs.
However, there is one catch: the results of the phase III clinical study are not statistically significant enough. This means that scientists cannot be sure whether, for example, in Barry’s case, their method really worked, or whether it was the result of pure chance.
“Despite the lack of statistical significance, these results are clinically important,” said lead researcher Kevin Harrington. “We will need to conduct a longer follow-up to see if we can demonstrate a benefit in survival across all patients in the study.”