Merck's Keytruda.(Michael Lund/Merck via AP)
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In the study, Merck's Keytruda, given with standard chemotherapy, cut in half the risk of dying or having the cancer worsen, compared to chemo alone after nearly one year.Another study found that an immunotherapy combo -- the Bristol-Myers Squibb drugs Opdivo and Yervoy -- worked better than chemo for delaying the time until cancer worsened in advanced lung cancer patients whose tumors have many gene flaws, as nearly half do. All of these immune therapy treatments worked for only about half of patients, but that's far better than chemo has done in the past.In it, 616 patients were given chemo and some also received Keytruda.The Keytruda combo also delayed the time until cancer worsened -- an average of nine months versus five months for the chemo-only group.In that group, survival without worsening of disease was 43 percent after one year for those on the immunotherapy drugs versus 13 percent of those on chemo.The median time until cancer worsened was about 7 months on the immunotherapy drugs versus 5,5 months for chemo.
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