MSD Showcases Turning Point in Cancer Treatment in Jordan

Press Release ( - AMMAN, Jordan - Nov 16, 2016 - Amman, Jordan (November 2016) – A revolutionary development in cancer treatment, immune therapy drugs are now available in Jordan. Jordanian oncologists are using a new molecule- Pembrolizumab – to treat patients with advanced melanoma and lung cancer. Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that works by increasing the ability of the body’s immune system to detect and fight tumor cells. Pembrolizumab’s clinical development program includes more than 30 tumor types in more than 350 clinical studies, and more than 100 trials that combine Pembrolizumab with other cancer treatments.

On this note, the leading research-driven international healthcare company Merck Sharp & Dohme, hosted a full day conference on Tuesday, the 15th of November, gathering local and international oncologists and specialists in the field, to officially launch the new medicine, approved by the FDA and the Jordanian Ministry of Health. Speakers discussed the role of Pembrolizumab in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma.

According to the latest issued statistics (2012 National Cancer Registry Report), the total number of Jordanian cancer cases was 5013, with 2346 cases for males (46.8%) while 2667 for females (53.2%). Lung cancer ranked among the top five cancers in Jordanians, and was the most common cancer among men 292 (12.4%).

Pembrolizumab molecule is given at a dose of 2 mg/kg administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every three weeks for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma, either with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.

On this occasion, MSD Middle East Medical Affairs Director of Oncology Dr. Ahmed Yosry said: “Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck Sharp & Dohme, helping people fight cancer is our passion and supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment. Our focus is on pursuing research in immunooncology and we are accelerating every step in the journey – from lab to clinic – to potentially bring new hope to people with cancer.”

On her part, Sana Al-Sukhun, President of the Jordan Oncology Society, commented by saying: “There is no doubt that cancer became an overwhelming problem worldwide. In Jordan as well, the incidence and burden of cancer are increasing and immunotherapy is the breakthrough discovery that holds promise to cancer patients in Jordan and worldwide.”

On the same note, Dr. Salah Abassi, President of the Jordanian Society of Hematology said: “Immunotherapy is the future of cancer treatment, and medical specialists in our region should start focusing more on this type of treatment, which is of great added value for the existing treatments, since it shows more promising results when combined with other types of treatment and has fewer side effects than other treatments, such as chemotherapy.”

Source : TRACCS jordan

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