New Blood Test to Judge Cancer Immunotherapy Effectiveness

Society Lifestyle

Kyoto, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese research team including Nobel Prize winner Tasuku Honjo says it has developed a new blood test to judge whether a major cancer immunotherapy treatment works for specific lung cancer patients.

Blockbuster immunotherapy cancer drug Opdivo was developed based on the outcomes of research by Honjo, professor at Kyoto University, who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

In Japan, the drug has been approved for use in treating lung, large bowel and stomach cancer. But the drug is effective only for some patients.

Demand is increasing for a method to determine whether the expensive drug will work for specific patients.

The team examined T cells, which play a key role in the immune reaction, from blood samples taken from 54 lung cancer patients before and after their use of Opdivo, according to the team's study, published in the online version of the U.S. journal JCI Insight.

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