A new treatment appears to destroy tumor cells in people with head and neck cancer. In some the tumors disappeared completely. The treatment may also work for other types of cancer.

It is a combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab, two drugs used in immunotherapy, report scientists from the London Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden.

The phase 3 study involved a thousand patients with end-stage head and neck cancer. Some patients lived months or years longer than expected from the drug cocktail. They also had far fewer side effects and therefore a better quality of life.

The treatment can also be effective in patients with kidney, skin and colorectal cancer. The researchers are very enthusiastic about the treatment, but more research needs to show whether it also proves successful on a large scale.

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