New drug could help shrink cancer tumors

Sunday, June 03, 2012

There's promising news in the fight against cancer. A new, experimental drug was found to shrink tumors in three of the most deadly forms of cancer.

Four years ago, Maureen O'Grady's doctor told her news that would change her life.

"I had stage four cancer, that is not good. He told me I had 12-18 months to live," said O'Grady.

She fought back undergoing a brutal regimen of chemotherapy.

"Chemo was difficult to tolerate - fatigue, nausea," said O'Grady.

It worked for a while but then the cancer came back, spreading to her lungs, liver and heart.

Doctors suggested that O'Grady try a different kind of cancer treatment called immunotherapy.

Unlike chemotherapy, it uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer.

The drug called Anti-PD1 helps the body's infection fighting T-Cells attack the cancer.

Before starting the treatment, O'Grady had an enormous mass in her lung. With just four months of immunotherapy, the tumor shrank dramatically.

O'Grady was part of clinical trial in which 18 percent of the lung cancer patients that took the immunotherapy drug showed at least a 30 percent decrease in tumor size.

O'Grady said she had virtually no side effects from the drug and for now she's happy to be able to spend time with her family.

"It's extended and improved the quality of my life," she said.

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