Immunotherapy, which harnesses the body’s own immune system to destroy deadly tumours, has been hailed as one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer for decades
Laura Donnelly By Laura Donnelly, Health Editor, Chicago12:01AM BST 01 Jun 2015
Terminally ill cancer patients have been “effectively cured” by a game-changing new class of drugs.
In one trial, more than half of patients who had just months to live saw deadly tumors shrink or completely disappear.
In recent days, the results of trials of a number of treatments which harness the body’s immune system have been announced at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference in Chicago. They show promise in the fight against skin cancer and lung disease.
But results from a slew of trials released last night at the conference showed “spectacular” effects against a multitude of cancers.
Experts said the advances suggest terminally ill patients with common cancers – including lung, bowel, ovarian and womb – could in future be cured by the therapies.
The evidence in favor of the radical drugs is so overwhelming that they could save tens of thousands of lives in the UK within a decade, it is claimed.
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Senior cancer doctors said the treatment, known as immunotherapy, could radically change the standard treatment for cancer, sparing some sufferers from some of the toxic effects of chemotherapy.
Roy Herbst , chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Centre, described the string of results as “spectacular”.