Senior Correspondent, London
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Sep 28, 2014

Failed cancer vaccines might live again with new immune drugs

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Using vaccines to fight cancer
is a field littered with failures but experts believe it is
possible the approach could get a new lease of life if such
shots are combined with a new class of drugs called checkpoint
inhibitors.

Unlike traditional preventative vaccines, therapeutic cancer
vaccines are designed for people with established disease and
are supposed to boost the patient’s immune system to keep
tumours at bay.

Sep 28, 2014
Sep 28, 2014

Merck drug extends immune system fight to stomach cancer

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Merck & Co’s drug
Keytruda, the first in a new wave of immune-boosting medicines
to be approved for treating melanomas in the United States,
also has potential in stomach cancer, new research shows.

Early clinical trial results reported on Sunday mean that
gastric, or stomach cancer can be added to a growing list of
tumour types where so-called immunotherapy may have an important
role to play.

Sep 28, 2014

Roche breast cancer drug shows “unprecedented” survival benefit

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – A new breast cancer drug from
Roche has shown “unprecedented” survival benefits in a
clinical trial, boosting prospects for its widespread use in
women with an aggressive form of the disease.

Patients with a type of breast cancer known as HER-2
positive, which makes up about a quarter of all breast cancers,
who were given Perjeta on top of older medicine Herceptin and
chemotherapy lived 15.7 months longer than those on Herceptin
and chemotherapy alone.

Sep 28, 2014

No benefit from continued use of AstraZeneca’s Iressa drug

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Continuing to give AstraZeneca’s
drug Iressa plus chemotherapy to lung cancer patents
whose disease has worsened after previously taking the medicine
on its own does not provide any benefit.

Some doctors had hoped that extending the use of Iressa in
combination with chemotherapy would help to keep cancers at bay,
even when tumour cells had started to develop resistance to the
drug.

Sep 27, 2014
Sep 27, 2014
Sep 27, 2014

Early data promising for AstraZeneca cancer drug combination

MADRID, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Early results for a closely
watched cancer drug combination from AstraZeneca that
boosts the immune system suggest the cocktail is promising,
though limited patient numbers mean the data is far from
conclusive.

The British drugmaker, which fended off a $118 billion
takeover bid from Pfizer in May in part by talking up
its cancer drug prospects, has high hopes for the combination of
two experimental drugs known as MEDI4736 and tremelimumab.

Sep 27, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
    • About Ben

      "Ben Hirschler is European pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare correspondent, based in London. Previously, he was in charge of British company news and before that was posted to Johannesburg, covering the economic challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa."
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