C002D5556 Sunday 08 April 2018 46BDSUNDAY Health&Science New immunotherapy for lung cancer shows promise of success Immunologist John Wrangle, M.D., of the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina said it’s a promising therapy that can be delivered in an outpatient setting. “People don’t talk about ‘curing’ patients with metastatic lung cancer. We now get to flirt with the idea for certain patients using immunotherapy. And at the very least we have a significant proportion of patients enjoying prolonged survival even if we can’t call them ‘cured’,” he said. He, along with his colleague Mark Rubinstein, Ph.D. also of the Hollings Cancer Center, designed a clinical trial that started in 2016. Patients with metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer will always progress after chemotherapy, so most patients go on to be treated with immunotherapy, a type of therapy that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. One class of immunotherapeutic drugs is known as “checkpoint” inhibitors, as they target checkpoints in immune system regulation to allow the body’s natural defenses, such as white blood cells, to more effectively target the cancer. Rubinstein said checkpoint therapies work by cutting the brake cables on the white bloods cells that are inherently able to kill tumor cells. “Tumor cells often produce suppressive factors which essentially turn the brakes on tumor-killing white blood cells. What’s unique about the therapy that we’re testing is that in addition to cutting the brake cables on white blood cells, we’re providing fuel to them so that they can more effectively kill cancer cells.” Wrangle and Rubinstein’s therapy is a combination of a checkpoint drug, nivolumab, with a new and powerful immune stimulation drug, ALT-803. “What’s unique about our trial is that it’s two completely different types of drugs that have never been combined in humans before, and the trial demonstrated that these drugs can be safely administered, and also, there’s evidence that it may help patients where checkpoint therapy is not good enough alone,” said Rubinstein. Patients who have stopped responding to checkpoint therapy may be helped significantly by adding ALT-803. Pre-clinical studies have shown that ALT-803 activates the immune system to mobilize lymphocytes against tumor cells and could potentially serve as an important component in combination treatments. Of the 21 patients treated, nine previously either had stable disease or responded to single-agent immunotherapy before becoming resistant to this treatment. Of these nine patients, 100 percent either had stable disease or had a partial response to the treatment used in this study. “We can reassert control, at least in terms of stable disease, in essentially everybody we’ve treated so far,” Wrangle said. This novel combination is a huge step forward in cancer treatment. “Whereas for de- cades the modalities of therapy were surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, the last decade has brought targeted therapy, and more recently, immunotherapy. It fundamentally alters the balance of power between your body and your cancer,” Wrangle said. A lung cancer specialist, Wrangle said 75 percent of lung cancer patients unfortunately are diagnosed at an incurable stage. “If 10 years ago you were talking about defining a five-year survival rate for metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer patients, someone would laugh in your face. It would be a joke. It’s just a very different time now,” he said of the progress being made in the treatment of lung cancer. Wrangle explained that natural killer cells are the chief arm of the innate immune response. “They are an important part of anti-cancer response that haven’t been really talked about for a long time.” Wrangle said his collaboration with Rubinstein is a powerful example of what team science can accomplish. “His ownership of the intellectual foundation of this therapy is manifest,” Wrangle said of Rubinstein’s contribution. “He is brilliant and just works furiously to help understand how we can develop this therapy.” Successful trials for the treatment of cancer are incredibly rare, he said. “There are very few people in human history who get the privilege of developing a new therapy for any human disease, much less cancer. Mark and I are now in this weird micro-club of folks who have developed the promise of a new therapy for cancer. That’s such an amazing privilege to be able to do that,” he said. Both of the researchers, who are in their early forties, said they were motivated by the need to give lung cancer patients better options. Wrangle plans to frame the study’s publication. “I think this manuscript will be the thing that we have on the wall that we look back at 20 years from now, when we’re still working together and discovering new therapies.” -Medical University of South Carolina Excessive stress may relapse to mental illness ANTHONIA OBOKOH An expert in Psychology has said that excessive stress may relapse to mental illness. According to reports, the Federal Neuro-Psychiatrist Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, witnessed a 111 per cent increase in overall patient attendance and 59 per cent increase in number of new patients from January –November 2016. In absolute figures, according to the data, there was an overall 46 per cent increase in number of admissions in 2016 (867) compared to 594 in 2015, while the community clinic attendance went up from 1,793 to 3,510, a 95 per cent increase. Richard Adebayo, a consultant psychiatric and clinical psychologist, at Federal neuropsychiatric hospital, Yaba, Lagos in an interview with BusinessDay said that relapses can have overwhelming consequences for people with mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, or an anxiety disorder. “We know here that a patient can easily relapse into mental illness when they are undergoing severe stress. “Stress is one of the common causes of a relapse including drug and alcohol misuse, lack of sleep or irregular pattern of sleep, lack of social relationships and support, poor understanding of your mental disorder in general. Addressing these factors may help you to prevent a full-scale relapse” Adebayo said. Adebayo added that understanding the psychological mechanisms of how stress can lead to depression and anxiety can help prevent it. This is especially important for people who have had an earlier episode of depression or who have a genetic tendency of coming down with mental disorders and would like to prevent relapse. “Stress is an everyday event that human beings pass through due to excessive pressure and it can translate into deeper health implications on both physical and mental consequences either positively or negatively. Adebayo further explained that when an individual is undergoing stress, the body metabolism could be affected and the hormones get disrupted making the alert system in the body, the adrenaline and non-adrenaline to be on the hyper level because the person is always agitated. He added that some people use wrong coping strategy, when they are stressed up, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol. Many Nigerians falls in this category, thinking these wrong strategies will ease them of stress at home, work place. “These are wrong coping strategies, taking alcohol will not solve the stress but some people believe that is an escape route to forget problems. “Your kind of coping strategy when stressed is very important, but we should not adhere to wrong lifestyles.” Adebayo advised.
Sunday 08 April 2018 C002D5556 BDSUNDAY 47 Sports ‘LaLiga more tactical and the best league for any player’ The race for the LaLiga trophy continues this weekend as second placed Atletico Madrid travel to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium to lock horn with rival Real Madrid in a derby that could decide the fate of Diego Simeone’s side for the LaLiga trophy. THOMAS PARTEY, Atletico Madrid midfielder in an exclusive chart with BusinessDay’s Sports Editor, NLEBEM ANTHONY IFEANYI, and other nine sports journalists from different parts of the world. The Ghanaian international spoke on the derby game this Sunday and football in LaLiga. How are you prepared for this weekend derby? We are tanning hard, doing our best preparing for this weekend derby and we hope to get a better result. How have your playing position changed from last season compared to this season? Well, the difference is clear because last season, I used to play on the wings; sometimes I play in the midfield and I could not find my position. But that has changed this season, the coach play me in the middle were I prefer to play and with hard work, support from the team that has help to improve my game this season and it makes me feel am part of the team. What’s the plan ahead of this weekend derby at Real Madrid, how do you plan to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from scoring and getting a good result? We have to do our work well and make sure we get a complete game and not making too many errors. We know how Real Madrid play and we have to go for a win. Growing up, do you watch Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid games and are there any player you look up to in these games? Growing up in my country in Ghana, we normally watch the English Premiership games and I look up to Steven Gerrard but in LaLiga, we watch FC Barcelona, Real Madrid FC and sometime Sevilla FC but not much of Atletico games. But now that I have been in Spain for seven years, I feel this is my home. What are the training sections like before the game against Real Madrid, any different preparations for the derby? It’s not going to be an easy game, Real Madrid are good team and are in good form. Like I said earlier, we have to do our homework well; have a complete team and go for a win. Cristiano Ronaldo has been in fine form, what is your game plan to stop him? We are not going to stop Cristiano Ronaldo alone; we are going to play the whole team. We also have our good players that Real Madrid should be worried of. Both team have to prepare well and have a complete game. LaLiga is one of the top leagues in the world, what do African federations need to do to produce good players like you? For Africans, mostly, our problem is the payment of players’ salaries and most teams in Africa are struggling to pay players salaries. But if the African federations are financially Thomas Partey buoyant to build good pitches, pay salaries, it will help the players to work harder, be in top form and play in top leagues. The race for the LaLiga is still open and Sunday’s derby is likely to be a decider for who wins the LaLiga. Do you think the outcome of the derby will decide which team wins the LaLiga this season? We have a philosophy that we approach each game as they come. At this moment, we are focused on the game against Real Madrid and our aim is to play well and get the three points at the Bernabeu and we think of our next game. Diego Coasta is making his first derby since his return to Spain; will his return give Atletico Madrid confidence ahead of the game on Sunday? Atletico Madrid play as a team and need help from other players. Individually, we have confidence and are ready to play Real Madrid. Our focus is o get the three points. Haven played in Japan, what memories do you have playing in Japan? Japan is a nice country and they have good players. It was a nice memory when we played there, I hope to visit Japan and play against more Japan teams. How important do think you have become in Atletico Madrid team and how do you think you will be in the next three seasons? At the moment, I have helped the team with so many wins and fight for positions. I feel important in the team because the coach believe in me and always tell me what to do that will help the team. At the moment, am thinking on how to get the team finish at a good position on the LaLiga table and win some trophies this season and we can now focus on next season. As an African player, how do feel to be involved in such a big game? As an African, I feel difficult to be part of this game, but am confident that most African countries are supporting me and I don’t want to disappoint them. Will the Madrid derby be more of a bragging right kind of derby? Always, this derby has been a great game, now it’s a more important to us because if we win win, it brings us closer to fighting for the LaLiga trophy. What can you say about the quality of football in LaLiga compared to other leagues in Europe? LaLiga is one of the best leagues in Europe; it’s more of tactical play and the best league for any player can choose at the moment. LaLiga is the league were good football is played and good players discovered. International Marathons Live on Kwesé Free Sports UHF 32 24-hour local sports TV station, Kwesé Free Sports UHF 32, will air three major international marathons in the month of April. The Rotterdam Marathon plays host to thousands of runners from home and abroad. The route is flat and traffic-free, making the marathon a fast race. The race will start at the iconic Erasmus Bridge and finish line is at the renowned Coolsingel. It holds on Sunday 8 April and it will be televised live on Kwesé Free Sports UHF 32 from 8.45am. Kwesé Free Sports UHF 32 will also broadcast the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the most prestigious road racing events, The Boston Marathon which comes up on Monday 16 April. The athletic spectacle takes a winding route through the city, encompassing 26 miles of Boston’s streets and providing many opportunities to see the action. The marathon has become a symbol of the Boston community, and of endurance and team spirit. Kick-off time is 2pm local time. The annual marathon race over the classic distance of 42.195km in Hamburg, Germany will also air on Kwesé Free Sports UHF 32 on 29 April 2018. This road racing event has been described as Germany’s biggest spring marathon and has been on since 1986. The Hamburg Marathon is a sightseeing tour through the city including all of Hamburg’s highlights. The start is located at the main entrance of the Hamburg Congress Centre and finishes at the Television Tower in front of Hamburg Congress Centre. Broadcast is scheduled to kick-off at 8.15am local time. “To watch these international road racing events, viewers simply need to tune their television sets to UHF 32 on analogue television in Lagos. This means that they do not need a satellite TV decoder to watch the marathons”. Kwesé Free Sports UHF 32 had in February broadcast the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. The channel is also the exclusive free-to-air broadcaster of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Viewers of this free premium sports channel will be able to watch 32 live matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Kwesé Free Sports UHF 32 a part of the largest and only pan-African Free-to-Air (FTA) network available in more than 24 countries in Africa.