Skin cancer: Half of people surviving advanced melanoma 皮膚癌:黑色素瘤晚期存活率過半

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英國醫生們說,十年前皮膚癌被認為是不治之症,但現在,超過半數的患者都可以活 下來。

文字稿

There has been a staggering transformation in the treatment of melanoma. Ten years ago the disease was considered untreatable once it had spread round the body. People with advanced melanoma lived for between six and nine months. Now half are alive five years later.

惡性黑色素瘤的治療發生了驚人的轉變。十年前,這種疾病一旦擴散到全身就被看作是不治之症,黑色素瘤晚期患者的存活時間為六到九個月。現在,有一半人在五年後還活著。

Our immune system constantly patrols our body fighting off hostile invaders such as viruses. It should attack cancers too, but they can learn ways of hiding. The two drugs used in this trial – ipilimumab and nivolumab – both stop some cancers hiding and allow the immune system to attack. This is not one of those health stories where we say patients might benefit in a decade’s time – this is saving lives today.

我們的免疫系統總是在全身各處巡查,擊退病毒等不友好的入侵者。它本應攻擊體內的各種癌細胞,但後者能變換花樣地隱藏起來。試驗中使用的兩種藥物易普利姆瑪(ipilimumab)與納武利尤單抗(nivolumab)都能阻止一些癌症的隱藏,從而讓免疫系統得以出擊。這不是那種我們說病人可能在十年後受益的健康故事,而是在此時此刻就在拯救生命的故事。

Immunotherapy is Nobel prize-winning science that is now a key pillar of cancer treatment alongside chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. It does not cure every patient but it is making the untreatable treatable.

免疫療法是獲得諾貝爾獎的科學,現在是治療癌症的一個關鍵支柱,與化學療法、放射治療和手術並列。它雖不能治癒每一位患者,但它讓不治之症變得可以治癒。

詞彙

staggering 驚人的
untreatable 無法醫治的
advanced (疾病)晚期的
immune system 免疫系統
patrols 巡查,巡邏
hostile invaders 不友好的入侵者
viruses 病毒
benefit 獲益
immunotherapy 免疫療法
pillar 支柱、基石
chemotherapy 化學療法
radiotherapy 放射治療
surgery 手術

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題 。

1. What were the chances of survival for people with melanoma ten years ago?

2. Why is our immune system sometimes unable to fight off 『hostile invaders’?

3. True or false? This new immunotherapy treatment means that everyone with melanoma can now be cured.

4. How long will it take before patients benefit from this new treatment?

答案

1. What were the chances of survival for people with melanoma ten years ago?
The chances of survival were not very good. Ten years ago the disease was considered untreatable once it had spread round the body. People with advanced melanoma lived for between six and nine months.

2. Why is our immune system sometimes unable to fight off 『hostile invaders’?
Our immune system should attack cancers but they can learn ways of hiding.

3. True or false? This new immunotherapy treatment means that everyone with melanoma can now be cured.
False. It does not cure every patient but it is making the untreatable treatable.

4. How long will it take before patients benefit from this new treatment?
Not long at all. The reporter says 「this is saving lives today」.