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New cancer medication

March 13, 2015

Source: KREX News Channel 5, story posted March 12, 2015


St. Mary's Hospital took part in a study for new drugs that treat certain types of cancer. They have been involved in these studies for about 20 years, but their most recent ones are different.

St. Mary’s Oncologist Dr. Mark Hancock said these particular drugs treat two types of lung cancer and a type of breast cancer. He added, “It's not perfect, it’s not a cure, but it’s a very nice thing to have."

Two of the three medications treat two types of small cell lung cancer called Nivolumab, while the other medication treats Palbociclib, a type of breast cancer. These medications are IV-infused like chemotherapy, but this one doesn’t carry the strong side effects. Doctors said they include antibodies that block receptors. The immune system then recognizes the cancer cell as a “bad cell” and kills it.

St. Mary's Director of Research Marty Jacobson said, "It has been a great advance in our cancer treatment because it's generally extremely well tolerated and more effective than the chemotherapy options we’ve had in the past."

He also said the purpose of the new drugs are to add more time to a patient’s life.