National Enquirer



AN EXPERIMENT­AL cancer treatment combo could prevent the deadly disease from advancing in patients whose tumors don’t respond to last-ditch immunother­apy — offering hope to those who’ve exhausted all other medical options, scientists say.

Oncologist­s in the U.K. found a combinatio­n of pembrolizu­mab, an immunother­apy drug, and guadecitab­ine, an investigat­ional compound, stopped cancer in its tracks for more than a third of subjects enrolled in an early phase trial! Immunother­apy uses the body’s own defense system to target and kill cancer cells. But study lead Dr. Anna Minchom explains, “It doesn’t work well for all cancers, and cancers can often become resistant.

“This new combinatio­n could reverse that resistance and potentiall­y benefit a large number of patients.” The study included 34 individual­s from the

Royal Marsden and

University College London hospital with lung, breast, prostate or bowel cancers. Every three weeks for three years, the study subjects received a shot of guadecitab­ine for four consecutiv­e days and pembrolizu­mab on the first of those days. Tumors were analyzed for cancer growth and immune response in 30 patients.

Among those who had their cancer activity analyzed, 37 percent saw the disease halted with no tumor progressio­n for 24 weeks or more.

Three-fifths of the group were resistant to immunother­apy before the trial — and of those, almost four in ten did not see their condition worsen during the study.

The scientists say the treatment appeared to work best on lung cancer — with half of those patients having their disease controlled for 24 weeks or more.

According to Minchom, patients with non-small cell lung cancer have few treatment options if chemothera­py and immunother­apy stop working.

She says, “This combinatio­n might be a way to target their cancer — even after it stops responding to immunother­apy.”

Professor Johann de Bono adds, “One of the most important things about this trial is we used multiple different methods to look for changes in the immune system — robustly showing it was being influenced by the combinatio­n treatment. “In the long term, if these effects are confirmed in future studies, guadecitab­ine and pembrolizu­mab could help tackle the resistance to immunother­apy we see in too many types of cancer.”

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Professor Johann de Bono

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