First-Line Chemotherapy versus Immunotherapy versus Maintenance Therapy

Chemotherapy versus Immunotherapy versus Maintenance Therapy

A recent study compared mesothelioma patients’ survival by physician’s choice of treatment. Is first-line chemotherapy the best choice? Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects older adults. Mesothelioma patients often have other comorbidities making real-world treatment decisions challenging. The first was by choice of first-line chemotherapy. The second was the physician’s choice of second-line chemotherapy versus immunotherapy. And the third was by the physician’s choice of use of maintenance therapy. Physician’s Choice of First-Line Chemotherapy Drugs This is the largest real-world study of U.S. patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Scientists analyzed physicians’ choice of first-line chemotherapy, second-line therapy, and maintenance therapy. In the first-line chemotherapy analysis, there was no significant difference in patient survival. As of this writing, the only … Continue reading First-Line Chemotherapy versus Immunotherapy versus Maintenance Therapy »

Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study

maintenance therapy

Dutch researchers say administering maintenance therapy with gemcitabine after chemotherapy may help mesothelioma patients live longer than supportive care alone.  Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite sold under the brand name Gemzar. Oncologists use it to treat several other types of cancer. When cancer cells absorb gemcitabine, they can no longer divide into new cancer cells.  Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment. If they are healthy enough, they may also have mesothelioma surgery. A maintenance therapy is a treatment that follows the main treatment. It is an effort to maintain the effects of the treatment.  The new Dutch study shows gemcitabine may be a safe and effective choice for maintenance therapy. What Does Maintenance Therapy Mean? Right now, there … Continue reading Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study »

Defactinib Fails Again as a Maintenance Therapy for Mesothelioma

patient chemotherapy for mesothelioma

There has been another setback for a drug that showed promise as a maintenance therapy for mesothelioma. Defactinib is a focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor. FAK is a signaling pathway that allows stem cells to give rise to new cancer cells. The developers of defactinib hoped that FAK inhibition would help keep mesothelioma tumors from growing back after chemotherapy. But a team of international researchers has once again concluded that the drug does not work as a maintenance therapy for mesothelioma. In Search of a Maintenance Therapy for Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is very hard to treat. Standard chemotherapy drugs like pemetrexed, cisplatin, gemcitabine and vinorelbine can sometimes shrink tumors, but they usually come back. Doctors … Continue reading Defactinib Fails Again as a Maintenance Therapy for Mesothelioma »

Alimta May Extend Mesothelioma Survival as a Maintenance Therapy

T Scientists in Japan have just published details of a case they say could be pivotal to the treatment of intractable malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is usually caused by exposure to asbestos and starts in the membrane around the lungs. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, a chemotherapy combination of the platinum drug cisplatin and the anti-folate pemetrexed is considered to be the gold standard drug therapy. Unfortunately, many patients cannot tolerate high doses of cisplatin because of the danger of liver damage. But respiratory medicine specialists at Uji Tokushukai Medical Center in Japan say this problem may be tackled for some mesothelioma patients by continuing to give them pemetrexed. Dr. Takayuki Takeda and his team report the … Continue reading Alimta May Extend Mesothelioma Survival as a Maintenance Therapy »

Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

Nivolumab and Chemotherapy

Researchers in Germany are recruiting patients for a trial of nivolumab and chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma patients who have had surgery. Nivolumab (Opdivo) is an immunotherapy drug similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda). It blocks a protein that helps mesothelioma cells hide from the immune system. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The multicenter German study will test if a combination of nivolumab and chemotherapy can help keep tumors from growing back after mesothelioma surgery. Previous studies suggest that it has the potential to do so. How Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Work Immune checkpoint inhibitors like nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and ipilimumab (Yervoy) are a major focus for mesothelioma researchers. Mesothelioma cells are notoriously tenacious. They often fail to … Continue reading Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better?

dendritic cell therapy for mesothelioma

A new kind of mesothelioma treatment called dendritic cell therapy might make other types of treatments even more effective.  Right now, chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) is the only approved therapy for malignant mesothelioma. Many others are in the works. But so far, none of them extend the lives of mesothelioma patients by more than a few months.  Dendritic cell therapy for mesothelioma may be different. This novel treatment uses the patient’s own cells to jumpstart the immune system.  A Dutch company developed and is testing the new treatment. The data so far suggests that it could boost chemotherapy and help new drugs like Keytruda work better.  How Dendritic Cell Therapy Works Dendritic cells are immune system cells that function as … Continue reading Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better? »

Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Shows Promise in Combination Treatment

new pleural mesothelioma treatment

A bacteria-based immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma may improve the odds of surviving the disease by boosting the effects of chemotherapy.  That is the word from the latest clinical trial of CRS-207 headed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute. Thirty-five inoperable patients received the immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma along with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy. Eighty-nine percent of them experienced either a full or partial response to the treatment combination.  CRS-207 Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma CRS-207 is based on a modified version of Listeria monocytogenes. The bacterium is best known for causing the food borne illness Listeriosis. In CRS-207, the bacteria has been changed so it cannot make patients sick. The immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma uses the bacteria to trigger a powerful … Continue reading Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Shows Promise in Combination Treatment »

Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma

AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy drug tremelimumab may still have a chance as a novel mesothelioma treatment, even though an international clinical trial completed last year found that it did not extend mesothelioma survival. In a new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Italian researchers report that combining the monoclonal antibody with another drug called durvalumab “appeared active” as a second-line mesothelioma treatment with “a good safety profile”. Tremelimumab’s Rocky Start as a Mesothelioma Treatment Hopes were initially high for tremelimumab, a monoclonal antibody that works by binding to the protein CTLA-4 on the surface of white blood cells and preventing it from inhibiting the cells’ cancer-fighting power. The US even granted tremelimumab “orphan drug” status in 2015, a designation designed to … Continue reading Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma »

Phenomenal Response to New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug

There is some exciting news from the front lines of mesothelioma research this week. California scientists say they have dramatically improved the effectiveness of mesothelioma chemotherapy by pairing it with a an immunotherapy drug made of live bacteria. The University of California, San Francisco team presented their findings to other lung cancer experts at the international European Lung Cancer Conference in Switzerland earlier this week. Although most pleural mesothelioma patients will receive chemotherapy, only about three in ten of those patients will get any significant benefit from it. The the new research study appears to be changing those odds. Origins of Bacteria-based Mesothelioma Treatment Immunotherapy is a process of turning the body’s own defenses against cancer by making it more difficult … Continue reading Phenomenal Response to New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug »

New Cancer Guidelines to Manage and Treat Mesothelioma

Updating Mesothelioma Cancer Guidelines from a Global Perspective

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma is a difficult disease to study on a global scale for many reasons. Yet, there has been tremendous progress in mesothelioma research over the last decade. However, current cancer guidelines are fragmented. An editorial in the Annals of Oncology recommends that new guidelines need to focus on both global and gender perspectives. Shifting Timeframes Make it Difficult to Study Mesothelioma Cases of mesothelioma are rising in some countries and falling in others. This makes it difficult to study the disease on a global level. There are a few different reasons for this global variation. First, … Continue reading New Cancer Guidelines to Manage and Treat Mesothelioma »

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