There’s a new Anti-PD-1 melanoma clinical trial under way as big pharma competitors Bristol-Myers-Squibb and Merck push their under-publicized Phase 1 trials. Even at this early stage the meds are said to be highly effective in treating advanced or metastatic melanoma, and prolonging life considerably longer than the Vemurafenib (Zelboraf) / IL-2 combo. Treatments are given every 2 weeks, and are said to extend life 18 months or more, possibly even up to several years. Overall response rate was a whopping 38 percent, rising to 50% at the highest dose tested (10mg every 2 weeks). Trials are still accepting patients in the U.S. and abroad if they meet criteria.
Follow up studies conducted by Merck revealed that even after 5 month follow ups, the response rate rose to 41%, with 88% of patients experiencing a partial or complete response, and no evidence of disease progression.
Unlike the BRAF-V600E gene mutation required for the Vemurafenib / IL-2 combo, this treatment is likely to be highly effective for people with or without the mutation. – A big relief to those without the mutation and widespread metastasis, who must otherwise resort to comparatively ancient, and largely ineffective melanoma treatment protocols. The Anti-PD-1 works by activating t-cells so they are alerted to the presence of melanoma, and then fight them with the body’s natural immune response.
NOTE: These clinical trials may also be seeking other types of cancer, so be sure to search ClinicalTrials.gov for the Anti-PD-1 for other cancers. Stimulating t-cells and your immune system are not exclusive to melanoma. This concept has shown promising results for breast cancer, colon cancer and many others.
Could this simply be modified Viagra?
This t-cell stimulation activity is very similar to what happens with Viagra in regard to cancer cells as I’ve discussed in earlier posts. My personal suspicion is that Merck’s MK-3475 and BMS’s Anti-PD-1 are both altered versions of Sildenafil, aka Viagra. This would explain the swift movement to phase 1 clinical trials, due to the biosimilar nature of these meds, possibly extracted from Viagra. (Biosimilars, pharmaceuticals which are already approved but can be used for different ailments, are now given a speedier FDA approval time than new drugs).
Viagra, in spite of its immense profits, was otherwise poised to become a victim of the upcoming pharmaceutical patent cliff which allows expensive name brand drugs to be copied to generic versions, clung on and suspiciously renewed its patent. This is because the drug had more important and profitable things to do, like help cure various cancers, including melanoma. Admittedly, this little blue pill is a genius invention, having served as a blood pressure remedy, ED med, and now possibly, a T-cell stimulator.
While these trials are still seeking participants, most men agree it’s always a good idea to take Viagra as often as possible! If I had melanoma or another cancer, I would do it. And, you don’t need to be male to take Viagra – t-cells are in everyone. Check with your GP or oncologist.