In a recent study published inthe New England Journal of Medicine, scientists have found an alternative chemotherapy- free solution to combat leukaemia. A combination of ibrutinib and rituximab has been found to have better effects against leukaemia than traditional chemotherapy. While Chemo showed a progression-free rate of 72.9%, the combinations of the other two drugs have shown a rate of 89.4%.
Study author Dr. TaitShanafelt, professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, said, “The study's data safety monitoring committee requested that the results be shared immediately with the world because they were so dramatic, and they were immediately practice-changing. For that to happen so early on against what traditionally was a very effective treatment -- just one that had high side effects -- I think was a surprise. Still, the chemoimmunotherapy, a combination of three drugs including rituximab, led to a higher frequency of complete response and showed less residual cancer.”
Leukaemia is a treacherous cancer that affects the bone-marrow and supresses the immune system in hazardous ways. Chemo, the main treatment for it weakens the body and deteriorates the immune system further causing adverse effects. The only catch that might affect the new cancer solution is the possibility of the body to cause mutations which might increase the resistance against the new drugs.