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New Drug Proves to be Effective So Far In Treating Lung Cancer

Update Date: May 31, 2013 03:00 PM EDT

According to researchers from the Fox Chase Cancer Center, a new drug therapy has proven to be very effective in treating the most common kind of lung cancer. This drug, nivolumab, can help the body fight against lung cancer with side effects that are considered to be highly manageable. Although the drug is still going through two-phase III trials, the scientists are optimistic that this new drug therapy treatment could potentially be a better option than current lung cancer treatment options today.

"We're very excited about this drug," said Hossein Borghaei, DO, chief of thoracic medical oncology at Fox Chase, reported by Medical Xpress. "I think if we learn how to use it appropriately, and manage the side effects effectively, it will be a good drug to have in our armamentarium."

The type of lung cancer that the trial involves is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is the most common form of lung cancer. In the phase I trail, the researchers reported a success rate of 33 percent, and now, the researchers are reporting that the drug could be very effective for many patients. Nivoclumab works by targeting the immune system's response to the tumor by allowing "the body's own immune system to recognize the tumor as foreign and attack it," according to Borghaei.

Current drug options today include a combination chemotherapy route or a single agent. These drugs have similar side effects where as nivolumab has a different set of symptoms that include thyroid and colon inflammation.

The trial, which is funded by nivolumab's manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, will be presented on June 1, 2013 at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Science of Clinical Oncology

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