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Immunotherapy PD-1 inhibitors

Posts: 29
Joined: Feb 2015

I read this in Popular Science--in the war against cancer, doctors have discovered a powerful new tool;the immune system. the FDArecently fast-tracked approval of three new immunotherapy drugs,called PD-1 inhibitors,designed to help white blood cells hunt down and eradicate hard to fight tumors-indefinitely. Chemotherapy almost always stops working,'says Jonathan Cheng,executive director of oncology clincal development at Merck. the promise of immune therapy is that you,re training the immune system to attack something foreign, hopefully for the rest of a patients life (1) THE DEFENDERS its the job of Tcells to protect the body. When presented with bits of foregin protein from intruders; they activate and ddestory infected cells. (2) THE CHECKPOINT. toprevent an uncontrolled immune response Tcells carry a switch; a surface protein called the protein death 1(pd-1) receptor. when engaged it inhibits proliferation. (3)THE INHIBITORS. TUMOR CELLS OVEREXPRESS proteins called programmed death ligands that fit into pd-1 like keys to a lock essentially turning t cells off. (4) THE BLOCKERS new drugs, such as Mercks Keytruda, bind to pd-1 and block cancer cells access. the immune system unleashes t cells, witch then find and attack tumors hang in there thry are comeing !!!!

Old Salt
Posts: 750
Joined: Aug 2014

It appears that the Merck drug that nepol has brought to our attention is not currently available/approved for prostate cancer, at least in the USA.

Keytruda has been FDA approved for advanced melanoma, after other therapies have failed.

More info: https://www.keytruda.com/

Any ongoing clinical trials for prostate cancer?


Old Salt
Posts: 750
Joined: Aug 2014

There is at least one trial to evaluate Keytruda (also known as CT-011 and MK-3475) in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer (in combination with other drugs)


VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3265
Joined: Nov 2010


Thanks for bringing up the news on the PD-1 blockers. I like to know that we survivors can aspire for additional weapons along our journey fighting the bandit. We are always in need of newer bullets but can we avail them?

The function of PD-1 blockers in cancer is not new and it has been “explored” since the initial laboratory researches on these sorts of cells receptors inhibitors back to 2000. It was the time when much “fuse” involved the work of looking for substances that could serve as markers (contrast agents) to locate cancer (eg; the ProstaScint). These would be substances that assured attachment (glued) to the receptors of that specific cancer and then it would be detected by an outsider machine (MRI, CT, PET, etc). It also triggered the sense in exploring the usefulness of the theory of vaccines in the combat of cancer (eg; the Provenge) that would use the cells of such specific cancer, their T-cells and the immunologic capabilities. Our cells would fight our own disease, in another way those receptors could as well be turned into targets by substances to stimulate the whole system into action. Loads of knowledge on cells behaviour was found then and newer techniques surged on the drawing boards.

The process of bringing these substances into drugs and into the general market which involves all trial phases (I, II and III), takes too long (sometimes one decade since their drawing boards) and are costly, and we (the ones living with the bandit) only manage to aspire that we live long enough to have the chance of using them.

FDA’s approvals in 2014 of the drug you mention turned all the attentions to these newer blockers. The media dig in and the world listened. Unfortunately like all the other novelties they may be good but never to our pockets. They are only for those who can afford to pay the high bucks. And that has put the big pharmas in aiming at the “pockets” of the government health care systems around the world. Unfortunately some passed the approval and have been accepted by big health care systems but such made the pharmas to forget about the little ones and the need in lowering the cost of medication affordable to everyone. The shareholders would not permit such social behaviour in their business. They do not want to see their share prices to go down. This involves all of sectors in the health care.



In fact there are alternatives in the immunologic “sector” more affordable. Leukine has been used by many oncologists as a weapon to stimulate the immune system in the fight of cancer or in helping other drugs to work more efficiently. Here you got a video of Dr. Myers talking about Leukine’s history in PCa;


I notice your other post mentioning my name. I am grateful for you to post the information to all of us travelling in this same boat. We all are very interested in this sort of news. I am sorry if I vented out with criticisms through the pharmas GEOs business manners.

Best wishes in your journey.


Posts: 29
Joined: Feb 2015


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