According to this article on the BBC News website, two new anti-cancer drugs have proven to be effective in the battle against advanced melanoma – a type of skin cancer which has so far been very difficult to treat.
The drugs, pembrolizumab and nivolumab, work by blocking the pathways used by cancer cells to hide from the immune system, allowing the body to fight back.
Advanced melanoma is a devastating disease which normally gives the patient less than 6 months to live. However, treatment with these drugs allowed the majority of patients to live for more than a year, which is already a vast improvement.
The trials are still very early, so it’s important not to get too carried away with excitement about these results, but if they continue to get the results they’ve been getting so far this could mark a huge leap forward in the treatment of this and other cancers.