This undated photo provided by Roszell Mack, Jr. in May 2019 shows him at his office in Lexington, Ky. At the age of 87, he is able to work nearly fulltime at the horse farm nine years after being diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his bones and lymph nodes. "I go in every day, I'm the first one there," said Mack, who helped test Merck's Keytruda, a therapy that helps the immune system see and fight cancer. "I'm feeling well and I have a good quality of life." The biggest drawback of these drugs: They often cost $100,000 or more a year, although what patients pay out of pocket varies by insurance, income and other things. (Courtesy Roszell Mack, Jr. via AP)

Drugs make headway against lung, breast, prostate cancers

June 02, 2019 - 11:14 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Newer drugs are improving survival for some people with hard-to-treat forms of cancer.

One study in advanced lung cancer tested Keytruda (kee-TROO-dah), a drug that helps the immune system fight tumors. Five-year survival was 23% for people who got Keytruda as part of their initial therapy and 16% for those who tried other treatments first. In the past, only 5% of such patients lived that long.

Another study found that adding the drug Kisqali (kiss-KALL-ee) to usual hormone therapy helped young women with the most common type of breast cancer. After about three years, 70% of women given Kisqali were alive versus versus 46% of others who only received hormone therapy.

The results were featured Saturday and Sunday at a cancer conference in Chicago.

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