This past month, OncoSec’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Pierce, participated in the 6th Annual Melanoma Research Alliance Scientific Retreat The conference seeks to advance the field of melanoma research, by providing an interactive forum that facilitates data sharing and discussion among key field leaders. This is accomplished through guest participation in a series of collaborative and thought-provoking activities, including panel discussions and notable speaker presentations. Continue reading “OncoSec CMO Participates in 6th Annual Melanoma Research Alliance Scientific Retreat”
We’ve had a busy year at OncoSec. From our ongoing clinical trials to the formation of our melanoma board, research agreement with Old Dominion University and in between, the last year has moved us deeper into cancer research and engaging with patient communities. As we have only a matter of days left in 2013, we would like to look back at this year in review. Here is a selection of some of our activities this year:
While people often talk about types of cancer as though they are all the same, it really couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only are different cancer types very diverse but also each individual type can have their own subtypes, along with different phases the cancer itself can be in. These phases are loosely based on how far the cancer has spread from the original site. The spread of cancer to other types of the body is known as metastasis.
There has been a lot of attention surrounding the effectiveness of PD-1 drugs lately. The New York Times published an article recently on how such drugs are “unleashing the immune system to attack cancer cells…” and that this “could be an alternative to often-debilitating chemotherapy.”
With the severity of many cancer cases, the treatment of cancer is regarded as a very sensitive area. Strict regulations surround the research and delivery of treatment, there are specific protocols used by doctors in diagnosis, and long established doctrine often governs which treatment option is used. Because of these factors, a few cornerstone treatments have surfaced over the years, which still make up the majority of treatments. The two options used most often, aside from surgery for early-stage tumors, are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Today, we take a look at each therapy method and compare them to immunotherapy.
Clinical trials are a requirement, for any new drug or treatment method attempting to gain approval for public use. The process is meant to show the effectiveness, safety, stability and repeatable nature of the proposed treatment, in order to prove that it works. Clinical trials are a long, intensive process that takes years and millions of dollars to complete. In fact, it is believed that the average drug costs $1.3 billion, to bring it to the point of sale, and as much as $11 billion.
Cancer is a complex public and personal issue. With so many factors increasing and decreasing cancer risk, some of the data can be both confusing and confounding. As well, cancer generally takes a period of years to develop: something that makes people less aware of the dangers. It takes a certain level of knowledge, compassion, and drive to help bridge the gap between the medical treatment of cancer, prevention, and the public. This is where the cancer advocate comes in.
While easily the most prominent and well-known skin cancer, melanoma can either be quite slow moving (remaining in the skin) or aggressive (moving to remote areas of the body). Thankfully, many cases are caught in their early cases and surgeons are able to remove malignant areas. However, for more aggressive instances of melanoma, treatment has shown to have debilitating side effects for patients, and, the later the stage of the cancer, the more challenging it is to treat with traditional methods. Be that as it may, recent evidence has suggested that the immune system may be the key to a higher-rate of successful later-stage treatment, as well as being less harmful and intrusive for cancer patients.