Immune therapy scores big win against lung cancer in study

This 2015 photo made available by Merck shows the drug Keytruda. Research released on Monday, April 16, 2018 suggests that many more lung cancer patie

CHICAGO (AP) — New research suggests that many more lung cancer patients may benefit from treatments that boost the immune system, which have scored some of their biggest wins until now in less common forms of the disease.

One study found using one of these drugs — Merck's Keytruda (kee-TROO-dah) — with usual chemotherapy greatly improved survival for people newly diagnosed with the most common type of cancer that had spread beyond the lungs.

That's a first, and it's expected to quickly set a new standard of care for about 70,000 patients each year in the United States.

Results were discussed Monday at an American Association for Cancer Research conference in Chicago and published by the New England Journal of Medicine.