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New Cancer Drug Shows Positive Results in Battling Tumors

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The Food and Drug Administration has approved Keytruda, the new cancer drug developed by Merck & Co. because of the drug’s outstanding results in fighting tumors.

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In an article by the New York Times, it was revealed that the drug was accidentally discovered because of a ‘failed trial’. A drug called nivolumab was tested to 33 patients suffering from colon cancer but failed to produce any significant effect to all but one patient. The positive effect of the drug to that one patient could have been incidental and insignificant, if not for the fact his cancer disappeared completely.

This led experts from John Hopkins to dig deeper on what was unique about that one patient and Dr. Diaz, a geneticist, eventually learned the answer: “a genetic mutation that prevented the tumor from repairing DNA damage.”

Keytruda

Keytruda

This discovery led Dr. Diaz and his colleagues to study more on the matter. They provided cancer patients whose tumors had the same genetic defect with a PD-1 blocker and were completely blown away with the results.

One notable patient in the study was 60-year-old Adrienne Skinner, a woman suffering from ampullary cancer, an extremely rare and fatal kind wherein there is no known treatment.

Skinner tried two kinds of chemotherapy for a year to no avail. Fortunately, she qualified for Dr. Diaz’s clinical trial and was able to receive her first drug dose in April of 2015. After about three months, results of a biopsy revealed that Skinner’s tumor was gone.

Keytruda

Keytruda

She continued receiving the drug just to be sure as the trial requires patients to receive the drug for two years. Although she stopped receiving treatment last year, she has remained cancer-free.

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is the first drug ever approved by the FDA that is intended specifically for combatting tumors that share a particular genetic profile, regardless of the location of the tumor inside the body.

The Outside World

Neverland Ranch is Back On The Market: Take A Look Around the Amusement Park

Situated in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Monica, California, the almost 3,000 acre plot of land upon which Neverland Ranch was constructed has recently been placed back on the market. Nowadays, the one-time residence of international pop sensation Michael Jackson is going by a new name: Sycamore Valley Ranch. Much of the estate is as it was during the 15 years Jackson called it his home, except for a few glaring differences – namely, the removal of the fun-fair rides that gave the home its whimsical name Neverland Ranch. The very last vestiges of where the carousel once spun are still visible as you go through the grounds. Read on for an in-depth view of the ranch.

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Jim Henson’s ‘The Storyteller’ Set To Return Thanks To Neil Gaiman

As the creator of The Muppets, Jim Henson provided children with countless memories for generations. It's almost impossible to find one person that wasn't enamored with his colorful characters. One author is looking to revive one of his most beloved programs for the small screen. It's Story Time Neil Gaiman has unveiled plans to revive Henson's The Storyteller. For Gaiman,...

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Famous People In History Whose Identities Remain Unknown

The world is a massive place, and despite the connectivity of the world nowadays some things remain a mystery. Legends have been built up around people we have never learned a thing about except the actions that got them noticed, leaving speculation about their true identity. The following people in particular have caught the interest of several generations. The Max...

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