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Roche Clinical Drug Shrinks Cancer Lung Tumors by 26 Pct

Update Date: Oct 03, 2013 09:45 AM EDT
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In a clinical trial, Roche Holding AG confirms positive result from an experimental cancer drug which shrank lung tumors.

The company reported that among a small group of smokers, drug called MPDL3280A significantly shrank lung tumors.

“There is no discussion, this is really working,” lead investigator Jean-Charles Soria told reporters at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam.

“This is the first targeted agent showing more activity in smoking patients than in never smokers, ” he later added.

Mr. Soria said out of the 53 patients with a form of the disease called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors, 23 percent saw their tumors shrink. The results were also presented at the European Cancer Congress (ECC) in Amsterdam.

The drug made by the Swiss company aims for a protein in lung tumors. The drug also tries to trick the body’s immune system’s own T-cells into being inactive so that they don’t fight back.

According to the results, the response from the smokers were more positive compared to those who never smoked. The drug MPDL3280A is first of its kind which is working better in smokers than in non-smokers.

Many oncologists feel that the drug invented by Roche can be a real breakthrough in the fight against lung cancer. Roche is also looking into the drug’s potential in treating other cancers like kidney cancer and melanoma as well.

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