New immunotherapy for lung cancer shows promise of success
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IMAGE: In a clinical trial, Mark Rubinstein, Ph.D., (left) and John Wrangle, M.D., used two drugs that have never been combined in humans before to slow the progression of lung cancer…. view more 

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Credit: Sarah Pack, Medical University of South Carolina

In a groundbreaking development, results from a recent clinical trial to treat lung cancer show that a novel immunotherapy combination is surprisingly effective at controlling the disease’s progression. The study, published April 4 in the journal The Lancet Oncology, focused on non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common form of lung cancer.

Immunologist John Wrangle, M.D., of the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina said it’s a promising therapy that can be delivered in an outpatient setting. “People don’t talk about ‘curing’ patients with metastatic lung cancer. We now get to flirt with the idea for certain patients using immunotherapy. And at the very least we have a significant proportion of patients enjoying prolonged survival even if we can’t call them ‘cured’,” he said.

He, along with his colleague Mark Rubinstein, Ph.D. also of the Hollings Cancer Center, designed a clinical trial that started in 2016.

Patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer will always progress after chemotherapy,

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