An immunotherapy combination is proving successful in reducing cancerous tumors.

Source: The Guardian The combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab is showing success in treating many types of cancers.

Ash Reynolds, Clubs and Organizations Editor

Trials show that a mix of immunotherapy treatments is able to reduce, and in some cases destroy, tumors in multiple regions of the body.

The combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab, two immunotherapy medications, has been FDA approved for treatments of different forms of cancer since in 2015, with new forms being approved continuously.

These medications work to strengthen the patient’s immune system and reprogram it to attack the cancerous cells. 

Over the past few years, multiple trials have been conducted to study the effects of this combination. This trial had three random groups; One group was given nivolumab only, one was given ipilimumab only, and the last was given both.

The study states, “At the 6.5-year analysis, 49% of patients were alive and in follow-up. Of this percentage, 77% of patients who were treated with nivolumab plus ipilimumab were reported to be off of therapy and did not receive subsequent systemic treatment. Sixty-nine percent of those on nivolumab alone, and 43% of those on single-agent ipilimumab also have been off of treatment and did not require subsequent systemic therapy.” 

Meaning, the combination of the two drugs was more effective than either of the drugs on their own. 

Nivolumab and ipilimumab are able to be used to treat multiple types of cancer. These drugs have been shown effective in some forms of melanoma, kidney cancer, bowel cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer.

This article discusses cases of tumors specifically in the head and neck being reduced, and in some cases eradicated, due to these medications. While these trials are not statistically significant, they are deemed “clinically meaningful.”

In addition to reduction of the tumors, these drugs have produced less side-effects than other treatments like extreme chemotherapy. 

The trials with nivolumab and ipilimumab medications are giving scientists and patients alike a glimmer of hope in their grueling battle with cancer.