Immunotherapy gives new hope to cancer patients


• MSD participates in prominent oncology conference ESMO Summit which took place in the Middle East region in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) for the first time
• Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that releases the body’s natural defences to fight cancer
• Lung cancer is one of the major cancer types for which new immune-based cancer treatments are currently enhancing the treatment paradigm
• Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths

MSD participated in the Middle East’s first ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) Summit which was attended by international oncologists and local key opinion leaders from across the region. At the event, MSD highlighted the evolving era of Immuno-oncology and how Immunotherapy is fitting within the current treatment landscape for the management of lung cancer patients.

Today, lung cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer mortality globally, responsible for nearly 1 in 5 cancer-related deaths, or an estimated 1.6 million people . There are many risk factors associated with lung cancer. Cigarette smoking remains the most significant risk factor for the disease, accounting for approximately 80-90% of all lung cancers . Other risk factors include exposure to second-hand smoke, radon some workplace substances such as asbestos as well as family history.

Since most people with early lung cancer do not have any symptoms, only a small number of lung cancers are found at an early stage. When lung cancer is found early, it is often because of tests that were being done for other medical conditions. In the UAE, approximately 4,500 new cases of cancer are reported in a year .

Dr. Falah Alkhatib, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at MEDICLINIC CITY Hospital commented during the event saying ‘‘Lung cancer in the Middle East is on the rise and is increasingly becoming a healthcare burden within this region. Smoking causes most cancer cases, and it will further add a total of 1800 new cases this year in this region. Cancer mortality can be reduced if cases are detected and treated early as patients are likely to respond to effective treatment which can result in a greater probability of surviving and less morbidity. Education and awareness programs are important to drive screening rates for individuals who are at high risk in particular to lung cancer. ‘’

Due to recent advancements in treatment, Immuno-Oncology has now emerged as a new approach to combat non-small cell lung cancer, a major type of lung cancer and has become one of the main cancer types for which new immune-based cancer treatments are enhancing the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

Immuno-Oncology treatment can offer significant benefits to lung cancer patients, including those for whom other treatments are ineffective. Some patients with advanced lung cancer have benefited greatly from immunotherapies, experiencing durable remissions and prolonged survival.

In particular, MSD’s new Immuno-Oncology treatment can change the way cancer patients are being treated within this region as many countries are beginning to increase their investments on their healthcare infrastructure in order to support this type of treatment.

Mazen Altaruti, AVP & Managing Director for MSD in the GCC said ‘‘At MSD, we are passionate about the discovery and development of innovative methods to support patients’ unmet needs. We seek to provide new therapies such as immuno-oncology to advance the care of cancer patients in the UAE and the wider region. Having this latest immuno-oncology modality means we will be able to help more patients. We will continue to drive our efforts to change the paradigm of cancer treatment by focusing on immuno-oncology and provide better treatment options.’’
The UAE aims to bring down cancer fatalities by nearly 18% by 2021. Reducing the number of deaths due to cancer is one of the key performance indicators of the pillar of world-class healthcare of the UAE National Agenda.

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

Related Articles