I don’t mean to sound crass or unsympathetic, but it just appears to me that the bar is set extremely low if it is cause for celebration and accolades that an immunotherapy drug gives someone an extra 4 months of life when compared to chemotherapy.
It would seem that a real cause for celebration would be for something more along the lines of 4 extra years of life with fewer side effects than chemotherapy. Or 14 extra years of life.
I guess that it’s all relative. We know that chemotherapy isn’t a cure. But it’s recommended to the majority of cancer patients. I wonder why that is.
I noticed in the article that they tested the new immunology treatment relative to chemotherapy. They don’t dare test it against something like Essiac or IV vitamin C because it would probably beat Big Pharma treatments so badly that nobody would ever consider using either.
Einstein is attributed to saying that the repeating of something that isn’t working is akin to insanity. Or maybe it’s craftiness. Or an orchestrated strategy to maximize profits by not killing the chemotherapy gravy train with something relatively non-toxic and highly effective in treating cancer.
Regardless of whether or not you believe that forces and people in Big Pharma are hiding cheap cures, one thing you can’t deny is that oncology is stubbornly bound to using chemotherapy and radiation to treat cancer. It’s been in use for many decades, with few to no signs of letting up.
If you’re like me, you would prefer more objectivity and truth in science. But unfortunately, politics and profits often dictate what it studied and what does and doesn’t get reported. We’d be naïve to deny the effect that bias and other objectives play in science. It’s not a comfortable thing to admit, but it’s the truth.
The difference between us and them is that we readily admit that we have bias. Big Pharma and others who drumbeat the dogmatic call for ‘science’ are often not willing to even admit the bias in their ‘science.’ And it’s a lot worse for the science zealots who call people that question what is called ‘science’ all sorts of names that are an attempt to destroy and malign us without truly answering the questions and concerns that we discuss.
Or worse yet, they are not willing to view science as a process, but view it as a form of religion that cannot be questioned or challenged. It took me a while to truly understand that the way that science is currently structured, it often misses the essence of truth. And it often has more in common with religion than with what could be known as the scientific method.
With all that said, we refer to this article that shows once again that progress in oncology is moving along at a snail’s pace, at best. Regardless of what you believe about cancer and Big Pharma dogma or conspiracies to hide cures, we have to admit that the cost to benefit ratio for all that has been spent (money and man-hours of research performed) on cancer research is paltry even if you’re the most optimistic person who believes everything that the PR says about oncology.
At this rate, they will never have any cures that aren’t toxic. And they will only have expensive, pharmaceutical-based or expensive procedures that are even more costly than the ones that aren’t cures already. The country will go bankrupt if costs continue to rise. Many patients are already going bankrupt from expensive medical treatments.
It’s really time for a paradigm change in oncology, among other things.
Patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer survive four months longer with fewer side effects on an immunotherapy drug called atezolizumab compared to chemotherapy, according to a phase 3 clinical trial published in The Lancet.
The trial enrolled 1225 advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients who have no more treatment options, but this study used an early analysis of the first 850 patients from the trial. Half of the group were given atezolizumab and the other half were given docetaxel chemotherapy, which is the standard treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.
Patients given atezolizumab — a drug that blocks the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) protein — survived for an average of 13.8 months, compared with 9.6 months for those on chemotherapy.
As well as the benefits in survival, atezolizumab also had fewer side effects than chemotherapy with 14.8% (90 of 609) of those given the drug having grade three or four side effects compared with 42.7% (247 of 578) of those given chemotherapy. However, 46 (of 609, 7.6%) of the patients given atezolizumab still gave up treatment due to side effects, as well as 108 (of 578 patients, 18.7%) of those on chemotherapy.
“Lung cancer is the most common cancer affecting 1.8 million people each year worldwide. It is also the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and survival remains stubbornly low. Recently, important advances in the treatment of the disease have come from immunotherapies that target the PD-L1 and PD-1 pathway,” said Dr Achim Rittmeyer, lead author, University Goettingen, Germany. “Atezolizumab reinvigorates patients’ immune systems against cancer, and our trial has shown that this has significant results for their survival.”
Other immunotherapies for non-small-cell lung cancer, such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab, are designed to block PD-L1’s counterpart, the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) which is located on the immune cell surface. Normally the PD-L1 and PD-1 proteins signal to one another to activate the immune system to attack tumours.