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Immunotherapy Better Than Chemotherapy In Treating Patients With Advanced Stage Of Lung Cancer

Update Date: Dec 23, 2015 09:49 AM EST

A recently published study by a team of researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) confirmed that immunotherapy was more effective than the conventional chemotherapy in treating patients diagnosed with advanced stage of lung cancer.

According to News Medical, their clinical trial involving 1, 000 patients with PD-L1 expressing non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) showed that people receiving immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab, marketed as Keytruda in the US, had longer survival rate than those receiving the standard chemotherapy medicine docetaxel.

In an article by, immunotherapy patients demonstrated a median survival of 14.9 months which was twice as long the median survival of 8.2 months for chemotherapy patients. Furthermore, side effects associated with immunotherapy drug Keytruda was less than the side effects linked to chemotherapy treatments.

"This treatment provides real hope of long-lasting responses while avoiding the toxicities of typical chemotherapy in a broad population of lung cancer patients," told Dr. Edward Garon, an associate professor of hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA as quoted saying by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Last October, the US federal agency Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the marketing and use of Keytruda for a target group of advanced NSCLC patients with a genetic mutation.

The newly FDA-approved drug works by targeting an immune cell protein in order to enable the body's immune's system to combat tumor or cancer cells more effectively as mentioned by UPI.

Keytruda increasingly became the talk of the town soon after former US President Jimmy Carter publicly announced that he's cancer-free thanks to the 'miracle' immunotherapy drug.

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