‘Promising’ cancer treatment for lung, bowel and pancreas ‘stops tumor growth’

A new cancer treatment was found to stop one in three tumors from growing, according to a new trial.

Dubbed AFM24, the treatment worked in cases of people with advanced forms of lung, bowel, and pancreatic cancers.

Cancer in the lungs, bowels, prostate and breast are four of the most common in the UK whilst pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest.

Eight of 24 patients saw their cancers stop growing in a trial conducted by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London.

All patients had tumors positive for EFGR, a key protein in cancer growth, which AFM24 was able to target without re-engineering the person’s cells, the Express reported.

Two bowel cancer patients and one patient with lung cancer saw their tumors stop growing or shrinking.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest in the body

Professor Kristian Helin, Chief Executive of the ICR, said: “This new treatment is highly innovative because it finds a way to direct natural killer cells within the immune system to tumors without requiring complex and expensive re-engineering of a patient’s own cell.

“So far, we’ve only seen initial findings in a small group of patients, but the results look promising, and we’re optimistic that this could be a new type of immunotherapy for cancers that are otherwise hard to treat.”

Meanwhile Dr Juanita Lopez, leader of the trial for the ICR added: “This treatment is still highly experimental, and our trial is at an early stage, but we are excited by its potential.”

Further research is therefore required before the treatment can be rolled out on the NHS and in other settings.

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Meanwhile, there is hope for progress in the treatment of the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer.

Over 9000 men are diagnosed each year with a cancer that is hard to spot early as it doesn’t present with symptoms in its early stages.

The condition is very difficult to treat once it has metastasised and spread to other parts of the body.

However, this hope after results of a new drug known as Olaparib showed promise; clinical trials have found it has the ability to double the average survival time of prostate cancer patients.

This is one of several breakthroughs made in prostate cancer research in recent years.

Recently, a phase three trial of a drug known as darolutamide could extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.

Furthermore, another trial found if abiraterone and ADT were used in combination they could increase the number of men who survived for six years; the rate increased from 69 to 82 percent.

With regard to Olaparib, CEO of Prostate Cancer Research UK, Oliver Kemp said: “In the UK, we’re talking about 500 patients a year whose lives could be saved by Olaparib.”

Interest is also high in a new type of treatment called Radionuclide therapies where drugs attach to tumors.

Kemp said: “That’s the one where when we look at the results, we think, ‘Wow’.

“You could be sitting here a few weeks away from death, and that will extend your life quite significantly.”

As with all cancers, the sooner a person knows they have the condition, the better; Prostate Cancer UK has a 30-second checker on their website where men can check their risk by answering three questions.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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