In a nutshell
This study compared the effectiveness and safety of immunotherapy versus standard treatment options in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The data showed that immunotherapy tended to improve the survival outcomes in these patients.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. Some patients do not report symptoms with the initial tumor. These patients are often only diagnosed when the cancer has spread to other areas (metastatic CRC). The standard treatment for these patients is chemotherapy with targeted therapy or supportive care.
Immunotherapy uses the body’s own system to fight cancer. Tumor cells try to avoid death by switching off our immune system. They bind to proteins on the surface of the immune cells such as PD-1/PD-L1 or CTLA-4. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) such as pembrolizumab (Keytruda), atezolizumab (Tencentriq), and ipilimumab (Yervoy) block these interactions and turn on the immune system to attack and kill the cancer cells. There are very few studies comparing the effectiveness and safety of immunotherapy versus standard treatment options in patients with mCRC.
Methods & findings
This study analyzed 5 studies and involved 1423 patients with mCRC. Patients were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 included patients who received immunotherapy. Group 2 included patients who received either chemotherapy with targeted therapy or supportive care.
Patients in group 1 were 5% more likely to survive without cancer worsening than patients in group 2. Patients in group 1 were 12% more likely to have a better overall survival than patients in group 2.
The bottom line
This study concluded that immunotherapy tended to improve survival outcomes in patients with mCRC compared to standard therapies.
The fine print
This study analyzed small studies. The therapies used were very different.
Published By :
Apr 01, 2022
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