Dr. Brahmer on Distinguishing Between Response and Growth

Julie R. Brahmer, MD
Published: Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013

Julie R. Brahmer, MD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses how physicians distinguish between a response to an immunotherapy and cancer growth.

The main way this is distinguished is by looking at how the patient is doing, Brahmer says. If a patient is otherwise clinically well and their disease is getting slightly worse, a physician should allow for that patient to remain on immunotherapy for another cycle. If a patient’s disease continues to progress even if he/she is feeling well, Brahmer says, a physician should not keep their patient on the drug. If a patients is doing poorly and his/her cancer is progressing, it is definitely time that immunotherapy be discontinued, Brahmer says.

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Julie R. Brahmer, MD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses how physicians distinguish between a response to an immunotherapy and cancer growth.

The main way this is distinguished is by looking at how the patient is doing, Brahmer says. If a patient is otherwise clinically well and their disease is getting slightly worse, a physician should allow for that patient to remain on immunotherapy for another cycle. If a patient’s disease continues to progress even if he/she is feeling well, Brahmer says, a physician should not keep their patient on the drug. If a patients is doing poorly and his/her cancer is progressing, it is definitely time that immunotherapy be discontinued, Brahmer says.


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