Real History of Modern Treatment Of Oncological Diseases

Real History of Modern Treatment Of Oncological Diseases

The Shining Three Musketeers of Oncological Treatments: Ipilimumab (Atos), Nivolumab (Porthos), Pembrolizumab (Aramis)

The heroes created by Alexandre Dumas continue to leave their mark on the minds and hearts of people today. In cancer treatment, new molecules reminiscent of the trio and even D'Artagnan are making history as a real success story in the spirit of the three musketeers. This article explores the three shining stars of oncological treatments: Ipilimumab (Atos), Nivolumab (Porthos), and Pembrolizumab (Aramis).

The Immune System's Strength and Cancer Treatment

For almost a century, direct lethal methods for cancer cells have been targeted in cancer treatment. However, the immune system's strength, which is one of the most important mechanisms of self-protection in the body, was ignored, or the insufficiency of the immune system was attributed to the power of the cancer cell. The immune system is like a double-edged sword, and its excessive and uncontrolled work can cause diseases that damage various organs. On the other hand, insufficient functioning can lead to negative conditions, such as infections, that predispose to cancer.

The Development of Immune System-Mediated Drugs for Cancer Treatment

In the 1990s, while scientists lost hope in developing immune system-mediated drugs to deal with cancer, Prof. James Allison did not give up. He became intrigued by a special biological molecule called CTLA-4, which inhibits the activity of T cells, one of the most important cells of the immune system. Allison and his team proved that removing this inhibition could benefit cancer treatment. Ipilimumab (YERVOY), an antibody (vaccine-like) with CTLA-4 inhibitory feature, was used in patients with an advanced-stage skin cancer called Malignant Melanoma. YERVOY has been shown to contribute significantly to life expectancy in advanced malignant melanoma, and the successful results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New Braking Mechanisms for Cancer Treatment

The success of Ipilimumab inspired the development of new braking mechanisms that can activate the knocked-out immune system in cancer patients. PD-1 is a receptor on the cell surface, also known as programmed cell death protein. The ligand in the protein structure called PD-L1 activates the brake mechanism of the immune system for cancer by binding to this receptor. The efficacy of two drugs, Nivolumab (Opdivo) and Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), developed against these protein structures, has been proven in malignant melanoma and other types of cancer that is extremely difficult to manage, such as lung cancer.

Continued Promise in Cancer Treatment

This adventure in the field of cancer treatment, which started with Ipilimumab and continued with these two new drugs developed as antibodies against the PD-1 receptor, seems to continue in other cancer types. The success of these three shining stars of oncological treatments brings hope and promise to cancer patients and continues to inspire new breakthroughs in the field.