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Esophagus Cancer, Immunotherapy Improves Disease Control – Medicine

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Esophagus Cancer, Immunotherapy Improves Disease Control – Medicine


(ANSA) – CHICAGO, June 06 – Cancer of the esophagus is one of the neoplasms with the worst prognosis. In Italy, in 2020, 2,400 new cases were estimated. More than half of diagnoses are advanced, when the disease is more difficult to treat.

In fact, the 5-year survival is 12% in men and 17% in women. Hence the need for new weapons capable of controlling the disease in the long term. A result possible thanks to immunotherapy, as evidenced by the updated data of the CheckMate -648 study, presented today at the Congress of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

“Squamous cancer of the esophagus is a disease that has been considered for years to have no truly effective options – explains Sara Lonardi, director of Oncology 3 at the Istituto Oncologico Veneto IRCCS in Padua -. In fact, standard first-line chemotherapy, consisting of a double drug, does not improve the prognosis much, which remains poor. In the CheckMate -648 study 970 people were involved, suffering from advanced or metastatic squamous cell cancer of the esophagus and never treated before. The primary analysis had already highlighted. the overall survival benefit, which almost doubled thanks to the immunotherapy regimens at the forefront of chemotherapy alone “. The new analyzes, she notes, “confirm how the immunological molecule nivolumab associated with chemotherapy and the dual immunotherapy consisting of nivolumab plus ipilimumab can change clinical practice in the treatment of advanced disease”. In addition, “the new analysis demonstrates that the risk of progression to subsequent lines of therapy was reduced by 36% with the combination of nivolumab chemotherapy and by 26% with nivolumab and ipilimumab. Furthermore, the excellent tolerability of this approach “. (HANDLE).

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