Sanford researcher’s work published nationally

From staff reports

The results of a study by a Sanford Health researcher that found a new immunotherapy for advanced head and neck cancers were recently reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The work of Dr. Steven Powell, who co-authored the Keynote-055 study, was published in the March 22 edition of the journal.

The paper describes the benefit of pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy, in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. It was based on a study that opened in October 2014 and was the first of now many immunotherapy clinical trials offered through Sanford Research. In August 2016, pembrolizumab was granted FDA-approval for use in these patients.

Keynote-055 gave patients at Sanford Health access to the therapy almost two years before it was available for routine use. Sanford Research was one of 31 partner institutions to offer the trial, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“This study highlights the importance for cancer patients to have access to clinical trials,” said Powell, a medical oncologist at Sanford Cancer Center. “Through this study, participants were able to receive this practice-changing treatment long before it was available to the general public.”

Pembrolizumab, an anti-programmed death 1 receptor antibody, showed clinically meaningful anti-tumor activity and had an acceptable safety profile, according to the paper.

“This solidifies Sanford Health as a national leader in cancer care, immunotherapies and research,” said David Pearce,  executive vice president of Sanford Research. “Bringing our research and knowledge back to our patients and the public is part of the greater good we all strive for.”

Sanford researcher’s work published nationally

The results of a study by a Sanford Health researcher that found a new immunotherapy for advanced head and neck cancers were recently reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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