New drugs recognize, target tumors

New drugs recognize, target tumors
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Two experimental drugs could change the fight against cancer.

The drugs, one developed by Bristol Myers Squib and the other by Merck, are designed to enable the immune system to recognize and target tumors.

Historically 75 percent of patients with advanced melanoma die within the year. But in trials, the Bristol drug reported a two-year survival rate of 88 percent. It's giving patients hope.

"I have a life. That's the difference," said patient Warwick Steele. "Before, all I had to look forward to was weeks, maybe months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy. With this drug coming along, it's wonderful. It's a lifeline."

The Merck drug reported a one-year survival rate of 69 percent and has applied for FDA approval.