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Cancer breakthrough as seriously ill patients go into remission after 'impressive' new drug trials

Cancer breakthrough as seriously ill patients go into remission after 'impressive' new drug trials

The drug trials in Manchester are having 'incredibly impressive' results on cancer patients

There has been an ‘impressive’ breakthrough in cancer drug trials after seriously ill people go into remission for months and years.

A leading UK hospital has seen ‘incredibly impressive’ results.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester currently has around 30 clinical trials in progress for blood cancer.

These include myeloma, which develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow.

The hospital’s experimental work is reportedly seeing the vast majority of patients responding to treatment.

According to Cancer Research UK, around 30 percent of people with myeloma in England will survive for 10 years or more after diagnosis.

Many of the patients taking part in these trials at The Christie have run out of other treatment options or have very few left.

The drug trials are having major results.
Andrew Brookes/Getty Images

Dr Emma Searle, a consultant haematologist on the team, said these experimental new immunotherapy drugs are causing patients to have their cancer drop to such levels that they’re actually undetectable.

“The results for this kind of trial – using drugs that enable the immune system to see and attack the myeloma – are incredibly impressive,” Dr Searle told the PA news agency.

“Using the drugs on their own, we are seeing responses in over two thirds of patients who have no standard treatment options left.

“And when using the drugs in combination... we are seeing responses in over 90 percent of patients.”

She claims immunotherapy drugs will ‘absolutely’ change how blood cancer can be treated.

Dr Searle continued: “These drugs are a huge breakthrough in this type of cancer, allowing patients without standard treatment options to achieve remission, in many cases for months or years.

“When the drugs are used alone they achieve a remission lasting one to two years in most patients.

Patients are going in to remission after taking the new cancer drug.
sukanya sitthikongsak / Getty Images

“Used in combination with other myeloma drugs, it is likely that responses and the effect on life expectancy will be even longer.”

She stressed that the results are ‘fantastic’ as there is hope the immunotherapies will become more widely used around the UK.

Former children’s nurse Jan Ross is one myeloma patient on the clinical trial at the Christie. She began her treatment in November 2022 and within only seven months, went in to complete remission.

Ross has only had minor side-effects of the new drug too, such as brittle nails and some loss of taste.

Having recently enjoyed her first holiday since becoming ill, she said: “Since my diagnosis I have had lots of different medications, each with side-effects that have been really challenging and affected my quality of life.

“The myeloma could only be controlled for short periods of time for the first two-and-a-half years. Thanks to this amazing new trial drug, after just seven months the cancer can’t be detected.

“I would encourage anyone who fits the criteria for a trial drug to embrace it with confidence or at least explore your options.

“You too could be receiving the positive news I have just been given.”

Featured Image Credit: Pexels/Chokniti Khongchum/Pixabay

Topics: Health, Science