Cancer Immunotherapies Take on Sepsis

Sepsis contributes to nearly half of hospital deaths in the United States, and now a drug company wants to try something new against this deadly infection of the blood: cutting-edge cancer immunotherapies, STAT reports.

Sepsis is a cunning and confounding foe, amounting to hundreds of thousands of deaths a year. Antibiotics often don’t work. Then the immune system springs into action, many times doing more harm than good by damaging the brain, liver, heart, kidney, and lungs.   

Bristol-Myers Squibb is running two small trials of two immunotherapies. Instead of trying to reduce inflammation, the drugs might revitalize the immune system. Both drugs activate T cells, mainstays of the immune system.

“Success breeds success, and if we are successful in this space then I’d expect a lot of people to jump in,” Michael Burgess, head of cardiovascular, immunoscience, fibrosis and genetically-defined diseases at Bristol-Myers Squibb told STAT. He cites possible benefits in fighting other diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.

Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to publish results from its trials in the second half of 2017.

Source: STAT