Merck, Pfizer combo treatment boosts kidney cancer survival

FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Drugmaker Merck & Co Inc said on Monday that the combination of its cancer immunotherapy Keytruda with Pfizer Inc's Inlyta cut the risk of death nearly in half for patients with the most common form of kidney cancer when compared with treatment with chemotherapy drug Sutent.

Merck said the treatments when used as the initial treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) reduced the risk of death by about 47 percent in its late-stage trial.

The drugs also improved progression-free survival and had a higher response rate in patients than treatment with chemotherapy.

The drugmaker said it will present full results from the trial at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco later this week.

Keytruda has been Merck's most important growth driver with its domination of the lucrative lung cancer space, and shows no sign of slowing as it produces positive clinical data and adds approvals for different types of cancer.

Approval of the combination to treat patients with RCC would put Merck again in competition with rival Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's Opdivo, which is already being used in combination with another Bristol-Myers drug, Yervoy, to treat kidney cancer.

Bristol-Myers was a pioneer in pushing treatments that help the immune system attack tumors and Opdivo looked poised to be a top immuno-oncology treatment. But Keytruda's sales have surged past Opdivo's, with Merck expected to sell nearly $10 billion of the drug this year, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

  • Trump under fire from American Jews over 'disloyalty' remark
    AFP

    Trump under fire from American Jews over 'disloyalty' remark

    US President Donald Trump has been hit by a wave of criticism for accusing Jewish Democratic voters of "disloyalty," but his comment also highlighted the unease of some in the community with its traditional party of choice. Trump, who has positioned himself as a staunch ally of Israel, made the remark on Tuesday night while criticizing Democratic politicians who support a boycott of the Jewish state. "Where has the Democratic party gone?"

  • The Independent

    Six people aged 62 to 85 arrested for 'sexual activity' in woods after police surveillance operation

    Six people aged 62 to 85 have been arrested after police officers went into the woods to watch them having sex. The group was arrested in a conservation area in Fairfield, Connecticut, which is some 87 acres in size. Police said they had found posts online advertising the Grace Richardson environmental preserve as somewhere to meet and have sex, according to the Associated Press news agency.

  • Jeffrey Epstein was accused of sex trafficking young girls on his mysterious private island. Over 40 years ago, a different millionaire escaped justice in a stunningly similar case.
    Business Insider

    Jeffrey Epstein was accused of sex trafficking young girls on his mysterious private island. Over 40 years ago, a different millionaire escaped justice in a stunningly similar case.

    But a review of Michigan State Police reports from the 1970s on the case of North Fox Island point to an operation built on manipulation, deception, and coercion. The story of the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually abusing and trafficking minors, erupted in the news this year, and internet sleuths say the case of Shelden and Lake Michigan's North Fox Island bears an uncanny resemblance to today's scandal. Both center on allegations that secretive millionaires weaponized their philanthropic giving, cliques of connected friends, and private island paradises to prey on young victims and escape justice.

  • Iran's Zarif says will see if scientist's death sentence can be delayed
    Reuters

    Iran's Zarif says will see if scientist's death sentence can be delayed

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday Tehran "will do its best" to see if the death sentence on Swedish-Iranian scientist Ahmadreza Djalali can be delayed. Djalali, a medical doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute in the Swedish capital, was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and later convicted of espionage, having been accused of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists. Iran's Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in December 2017 and Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said Djalali had confessed to meeting agents of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to deliver information on Iran's nuclear and defense...

  • A shark attacked a woman in Hawaii, and authorities are warning it's 'still in the area'
    INSIDER

    A shark attacked a woman in Hawaii, and authorities are warning it's 'still in the area'

    On Tuesday, a 27-year-old woman was attacked by a shark while swimming at Napoopoo Beach Park in Kealakekua Bay. "The shark is still in the area, so we're trying to get people out of the water at this time," Hawaii Fire Department Battalion Chief William Bergin told the Associated Press.

  • Suspect in California campus killing was co-worker
    Associated Press

    Suspect in California campus killing was co-worker

    A suspect arrested in the stabbing death of a man at the California State University, Fullerton campus was a co-worker of the victim, police said Thursday. Chuyen Vo, 51, was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Huntington Beach, officials announced at a news conference near the killing scene in a campus parking lot. The victim, Steven Shek Keung Chan, 57, worked as the director of budget and finance and student services for university extended education but retired in 2017.

  • The 10 Least Expensive New Compact SUVs to Own
    Car and Driver

    The 10 Least Expensive New Compact SUVs to Own

    We calculated key factors contributing to ownership costs - purchase price, fuel economy, and insurance - to find the cheapest 2019 compact SUVs to own. From Car and Driver

  • Former Manafort deputy Rick Gates testifies against Greg Craig
    Politico

    Former Manafort deputy Rick Gates testifies against Greg Craig

    Rick Gates, the former Trump deputy campaign chairman and a central witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, appeared in federal court again on Thursday to testify against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig at his ongoing trial connected to a Ukraine-related legal project that Craig did involving Gates' former boss Paul Manafort. Gates' turn as a prosecution witness on Thursday morning was his first public court appearance since he took the stand a year ago at the trial of Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, on tax and bank fraud charges brought by Mueller. Gates served as Manafort's right-hand man for about a decade, including the period in 2012 when Manafort oversaw an in-depth review that Craig conducted of the widely criticized trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of Ukraine on abuse-of-power charges.

  • July was the hottest month ever on Earth. Now massive wildfires are burning across the globe.
    USA TODAY

    July was the hottest month ever on Earth. Now massive wildfires are burning across the globe.

    DENVER – Wildfires are burning across the globe, clogging the sky with smoke from Alaska to the Amazon, and scientists say it's no coincidence that July was the warmest-ever month recorded on Earth. The fires have forced evacuations worldwide, most recently on Spain's Canary Islands, where more than 8,000 people have been forced to flee. Smoke from some of the fires is so bad satellites can see it from space, blanketing large portions of South America and the Arctic.

  • Trump again says he is 'very seriously' looking to end birthright citizenship
    Yahoo News

    Trump again says he is 'very seriously' looking to end birthright citizenship

    Eight months after first raising the idea, President Trump on Wednesday said his administration is again “very seriously” looking into ending the practice of conferring U.S. citizenship on anyone born in the United States. “We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby — congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. In October, on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, Trump said he believed he could end birthright citizenship by executive order, claiming it was not part of the U.S. Constitution, and predicting the question would ultimately be settled by the Supreme Court.

  • Brexit: Boris Johnson warned US trade deal 'highly unlikely' if Ireland has hard border
    The Independent

    Brexit: Boris Johnson warned US trade deal 'highly unlikely' if Ireland has hard border

    A post-Brexit trade deal with the US would be "highly unlikely" if there is a hard border on the island of Ireland, Boris Johnson has been warned. The Congressional Friends of Ireland, a group in the US Congress which supports and promotes peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, has written to the prime minister warning that it will oppose any US-UK trade deal if it risks undermining the Good Friday Agreement. Any trade deal that put that in jeopardy would be "highly unlikely", it said.

  • Beijing hits back after Trudeau vows to stand up to China
    AFP

    Beijing hits back after Trudeau vows to stand up to China

    Beijing on Thursday accused Ottawa of worsening bilateral relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to stand up to China amid deepening diplomatic and trade disputes. The two countries have been locked in a feud since last December, when Canada detained top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and -- in apparent retaliation -- China detained two Canadian nationals over espionage-linked accusations. On Wednesday, Trudeau pushed back against Beijing in a speech that promised to "always defend Canadians and Canadian interests" and to not "back down".

  • We can't trust police to protect us from racist violence. They contribute to it
    The Guardian

    We can't trust police to protect us from racist violence. They contribute to it

    As mass violence continues, many of us have become rightly afraid for the people we love. One idea we must reject is the idea of trusting law enforcement to protect us from white nationalist violence, given how much they contribute to it. If people in law enforcement want to be seen as experts on defeating white nationalism, shouldn't they have to get rid of all the white nationalists in their own ranks first?

  • Farmer Behind the U.S.'s Largest Organic Food Fraud Scheme Dies by Suicide
    Meredith Videos

    Farmer Behind the U.S.'s Largest Organic Food Fraud Scheme Dies by Suicide

    A Missouri farmer blamed for running the largest organic food fraud scheme in U.S. history has died by suicide, weeks before he was to report to federal prison to begin serving a 10-year term, a coroner said Tuesday.

  • Drivers in Idaho keep harassing busloads of immigrants' children on their way to pre-school
    INSIDER

    Drivers in Idaho keep harassing busloads of immigrants' children on their way to pre-school

    Idaho motorists have reportedly been harassing buses carrying children under the age of five. The buses drive low-income children of migrants or agricultural workers to federally funded educational programs during the day. Idaho drivers have reportedly been harassing busloads of young kids, prompting a local nonprofit to remove signs from the buses that identify the riders as children of migrant workers.

  • Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour
    Reuters

    Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour

    CORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer. U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.

  • Federal judge rules that immigration law is unconstitutional
    Associated Press

    Federal judge rules that immigration law is unconstitutional

    A federal judge in Kansas has ruled that a law making it a crime to "encourage" or "induce" immigrants to enter or live in the country illegally is unconstitutional. KCUR-FM reports that U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia issued his ruling from the bench Wednesday before throwing out the convictions of Jose Felipe Hernandez-Calvillo and Mauro Papalotzi. Prosecutors said the men, who themselves are in the country illegally, managed crews of workers who installed drywall for a Lawrence company.

  • The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on fire. Here's what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space.
    Business Insider

    The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on fire. Here's what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space.

    The link between fires and climate change Individual wildfires and heat waves can't be directly linked to climate change, but accelerated warming increases their likelihood, size, and frequency. July was the hottest month ever recorded, period. The month prior, meanwhile, was the hottest June ever in Earth's history, with temperatures nearly 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

  • Stephen King has a very bleak prediction for how Trump's presidency will affect the U.S.
    Mashable

    Stephen King has a very bleak prediction for how Trump's presidency will affect the U.S.

    It's been another odd couple of days for Donald Trump. There's been that strange situation with him wanting to buy Greenland; whispers of a possible recession that have led to more angry tweets about the media; and as questions about the impact of his trade war with China ramped up, he stood in front of a group of reporters on Wednesday and said: "I am the chosen one." Strange, strange times.

  • Parkland students unveil gun violence prevention plan: 'Policymakers have failed, so survivors are stepping up'
    The Independent

    Parkland students unveil gun violence prevention plan: 'Policymakers have failed, so survivors are stepping up'

    March For Our Lives, the group formed by the Parkland students in the wake of the mass shooting at their school in February 2018, has unveiled a new plan for gun control. The Peace Plan is a six-step proposal focused on changing gun laws in America to prevent mass shootings, which continue to ravage the country. “Everywhere we look, gun violence is decimating our families and communities,” the plan reads.

  • Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'
    USA TODAY

    Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'

    WASHINGTON – Appearing on "Fox and Friends" on Monday morning, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that The New York Times' 1619 Project was "a lie." The 1619 Project is an effort by the Times to commemorate the 400th anniversary of slavery's beginning in America. The 1619 Project aims to "reframe the country's history, [understand] 1619 as our true founding, and [place] the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are."

  • Iraq paramilitary units blame US for base attacks
    AFP

    Iraq paramilitary units blame US for base attacks

    On Wednesday, the paramilitary group said in a statement it had carried out its own investigation and pointed the finger at the US military, but also accused Israel of infringing Iraqi airspace. "We announce that the first and last entity responsible for what happened are American forces, and we will hold them responsible for whatever happens from today onwards," said the statement, attributed to Hashed deputy chief Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis. He said the attacks were carried out by "agents or in special operations with modern airplanes," without providing further details.

  • 2016 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 Is A Wild Pony
    motorious

    2016 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 Is A Wild Pony

    The 2016 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3 is a perfect example of how far the modern Mustang can be pushed, and this gorgeous, one-owner Roush Mustang will be auctioned off at no reserve by GAA Classic Cars. The highest of the Roush tuning levels, the Stage 3 transforms the Mustang into a track car. This starts by bolting a Roush supercharger atop the Mustang's 5.0-liter Coyote V8 resulting in 670 horsepower – a significant improvement over the 435 -horsepower Mustang GT.

  • Ocasio-Cortez suggests the Electoral College is racist
    FOX News Videos

    Ocasio-Cortez suggests the Electoral College is racist

    The Daily Briefing' host Dana Perino says it is a disservice to say that the Electoral College should be abolished without recognizing that it serves a purpose.

  • A Mexican judge says 2 people can legally use cocaine — but they can't buy or sell it
    INSIDER

    A Mexican judge says 2 people can legally use cocaine — but they can't buy or sell it

    Mexico United Against Crime said in a press release on Tuesday that the rulings open the door for a larger debate about legalizing cocaine, and whether law enforcement should focus its resources on violent crime rather than drug use. A court in Mexico has granted two people the legal right to carry and use cocaine in a landmark case launched by a pro-legalization group. Mexico United Against Crime announced on Tuesday that a court in Mexico City had granted two injunctions ordering the government to allow plaintiffs to "possess, transport and use cocaine," but not to sell or buy it, AFP reported.