They give us our sense of urgency.
This is certainly true with respect to cancer patients and their families, whose partnership has helped to make this an exciting time in the fight against this particularly cruel disease. Unprecedented progress is being made in the field of immuno-oncology, a promising new scientific approach that unlocks the power of a patient’s immune system to fight cancer. In fact, over the past 5 years – since the introduction of YERVOY®, the first immuno-oncology medicine brought to market – there has been an all-out transformation in the way certain cancers are treated and in the way cancer patients live their lives.
And this is only the beginning.
Before 2011, chemotherapy had long been the standard of care for most cancers. While it has helped some patients, it doesn’t help enough, and it is a challenging treatment for most. Now, immuno-oncology medicines from a growing list of pharmaceutical companies are taking the lead in extending lives and in providing hope. At Bristol Myers Squibb alone, we already have three such medicines approved – YERVOY®, OPDIVO® and EMPLICITI™ – and are investigating the role of over ten potential new medicines, with as many mechanisms of action, to eventually be used in combination.