In an important breakthrough achieved by medicinal sciences, Nivolumab has been found to extend the survival rates of patients with renal cancer. This may come as a huge wave of respite for many suffering from kidney cancer, which is one of the top 10 cancers of the human body, and which affects both men and women.
The findings, which were based on a study of 821 patients that suffered from advanced clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), reported a 25% reduction in the size of tumor among those patients that were administered the drug Nivolumab. The other half of the research group was administered a separate drug everolimus, which is the prevailing drug for renal cancer. The results of the other half showed a reduction of a mere 5% in the size of their tumors.
The medicine was also found to extend survival rates of patients. Under Nivolumab, patients typically survived an average of 25 months, although some benefited even more than that. The standard treatment of everolimus has been known to extend survival only till 19.6 months, which is 5.4 months lesser than that observed in the case of Nivolumab.
The drug Nivolumab functions on the principle of immunotherapy, which essentially empowers the body’s immune system to fight off the cancer on its own instead of relying on external interventions to counteract the effect of growing tumors. However, few but serious side effects have been reported with Nivolumab, the most common of them being fatigue, nausea and severe itching.
The results of this study were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology’s European Cancer Congress and were also simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), the company that sells Nivolumab as Opdivo.
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