News in brief: Adjuvant pembrolizumab benefit in Stage IIB and IIC melanoma; Long COVID common in healthcare staff

Thursday, 9 Jun 2022

Adjuvant pembrolizumab benefit in Stage IIB and IIC melanoma.

Further evidence has been released by Australian researchers showing that adjuvant pembrolizumab significantly reduces the risk of recurrence for patients with resected stage IIB and IIC melanoma.

Professor Georgina Long of the Melanoma Institute Australia, Sydney University presented the first data for distant metastasis–free survival from the KEYNOTE-716 study, showing that adjuvant pembrolizumab significantly improved it by 36% compared with placebo. (HR 0.64, p 0.0029).

The improvements were seen across T subcategories of 3B, 4A and 4B, she added

Professor Long also presented 24 month data showing continued reductions in recurrence-free survival (HR 0.64) adding to previous interim analysis data from 18 months published in the Lancet earlier this year.

She told the meeting that investigators continued to see separation of the Kaplan Meir curves for relapse free survival.

Long COVID common in healthcare staff

Almost three-quarters of healthcare staff continue to suffer from the consequences of COVID-19 for months after acute infection, a German study has found.

A survey of 2053 healthcare workers who had PCR confirmed COVID-19 disease in 2020 found that 73% experienced persistent symptoms for more than three months, with fatigue/exhaustion, concentration/memory problems and shortness of breath being most frequently reported.

Ongoing symptoms were associated with poor physical and mental health-related quality of life, with one-fifth of staff with persistent symptoms reporting depression and anxiety symptoms.

Risk factors for long term symptoms after acute infection included older age, female gender, previous illness, many and severe symptoms during the acute infection, and outpatient medical care.

The findings “demonstrate the urgent need for rehabilitation measures among those affected so that they can achieve an improved quality of life in terms of their health and work ability,” the researchers said.

More details:  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 

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