Dr. Wolchok on Patients That Had to Stop Treatment Early

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD
Published: Monday, Jun 20, 2011

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center describes why some patients needed to stop taking the ipilimumab treatment early during the clinical trial.

Dr. Wolchok says the patients needed to stop taking the ipilimumab treatment early during the clinical trial may have been the ones that could have benefited most. He says that ipilimumab is a drug that doesn't have a direct action on the cancer cell. It's function is to turn on the immune system, and then the immune system seeks out the cancer cell to control it. Getting the immune system activated, as evidenced by the appearance of some side effects, may be a good indicator of patients who are more likely to benefit. Dr. Wolchok says it doesn't mean a patient has to have a serious side effect in order to benefit, but it also means that if a patient has to end their treatment before a specified number of doses, they could have a very high likelihood of benefiting despite that.
Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center describes why some patients needed to stop taking the ipilimumab treatment early during the clinical trial.

Dr. Wolchok says the patients needed to stop taking the ipilimumab treatment early during the clinical trial may have been the ones that could have benefited most. He says that ipilimumab is a drug that doesn't have a direct action on the cancer cell. It's function is to turn on the immune system, and then the immune system seeks out the cancer cell to control it. Getting the immune system activated, as evidenced by the appearance of some side effects, may be a good indicator of patients who are more likely to benefit. Dr. Wolchok says it doesn't mean a patient has to have a serious side effect in order to benefit, but it also means that if a patient has to end their treatment before a specified number of doses, they could have a very high likelihood of benefiting despite that.

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