Merck races ahead of Bristol-Myers in lung cancer drug therapy
Category: #health  By Saipriya Iyer  Date: 2018-04-17
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Merck races ahead of Bristol-Myers in lung cancer drug therapy

Pharma major Merck has apparently emerged at the top, surpassing Bristol-Myers Squibb, in the results of the clinical trials that demonstrated the effectiveness of immunotherapy medicines. As per sources, Merck’s Keytruda and Bristol’s Opdivo have proved to be more successful in treating lung cancer as compared to chemotherapy.

Reportedly, the outcomes of the trials displayed that when lung cancer patients in the U.S. were treated with Merck’s drug Keytruda along with chemotherapy, their rate of survival increased by 51% as compared to those subjects treated with only chemotherapy. However, the subjects treated with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s medicine Opdivo along with another medicine Yervoy was found to reduce death risks by 42% as compared to the patients treated only with chemo.

Sources cite that these clinical tests focused on two measures of survival. The first measure was focused on how long subjects can survive after treating them with the drugs along with chemo. Another measure was the progression-free survival rate – meaning, determining how much longer the lung cancer patients survive without the growth of cancerous tumors.

Apparently, during the trials conducted in the U.S., patients treated with chemotherapy only survived for a 11.3 months median span. However, the subjects treated with both Merck’s Keytruda and chemo had a longer survival rate. In case of Bristol’s Opdivo, the outcomes focused more on progression-free survival among the lung cancer patients for nearly 11.5 months.

For the record, lung cancer is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths across the U.S. Over 2,34,000 citizens in the country are predicted to be diagnosed for lung cancer this year and over 1,54,000 lung cancer patients are likely to die due to the disease.

Healthcare professionals state that the effectiveness of the medicines is also measured on parameters such as safety and costs. A reputed medical expert has claimed that Bristol’s Opdivo & Yervoy drug combination exhibited lower safety rate as compared to chemotherapy. Incidentally, Merck’s Keytruda also demonstrated side-effects such as nausea, fatigue, anemia, and acute kidney damage in the lung cancer patients.



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Saipriya Iyer

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer develops content for Market Size Forecasters, Algosonline, and myriad other platforms. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her bel...

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