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Elaine Thompson / AP

The results of a new clinical trial could revamp post-surgery treatment for people diagnosed with advanced melanoma, changing what had long been the standard protocol, per The Washington Post.

  • The trial looked at effectiveness of two immunotherapy drugs utilized after surgery to remove aggressive melanoma tumors. Yeroy has been the standard immunotherapy treatment, but it was put head-to-head with a new drug called Opdivo.
  • 71% of Opdivo users stayed cancer-free compared to 61% of those treated with Yervoy. Perhaps more importantly, users reacted better to Opdivo — only 5% of those on Opdivo discontinued their treatment due to side effects while 31% of Yervoy patients did so.
  • Why it matters: The combined safety and effectiveness of an immunotherapy drug like Opdivo is a big deal for advanced cancer treatment, considering the health risks of more traditional treatments like chemotherapy.
  • Not so fast: It's important to note the drug isn't a cure, it's a treatment designed to prevent relapse.

Go deeper

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

15 mins ago - Health

America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The race to figure out just how dangerous the Omicron variant is will likely be a global effort, but some experts are skeptical that the U.S. will play a dominant role.

Why it matters: The CDC has repeatedly come under fire for inadequate data collection throughout the pandemic — and figuring out how to respond to Omicron requires a lot of data that doesn't currently exist.

Some Republicans fear a win on abortion could come back to bite them

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Republicans are on the brink of achieving a decades-long conservative project — overturning abortion rights — but some strategists worry that the party isn’t ready for the political dangers of this monumental victory.

Why it matters: The GOP has the best political environment in a decade leading into the midterms — and the last thing top party operatives want is for the Democratic base to become energized if the Supreme Court narrows or overturns Roe v. Wade.

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