Relapsed Mesothelioma Patients Live Longer on Opdivo in Phase 3 Trial

relapsed mesothelioma patients

A multi-center British study suggests that the cancer drug Opdivo (nivolumab) may be a solid second-line treatment option for relapsed mesothelioma patients.  The Phase-3 trial involved mesothelioma patients from 24 UK hospitals. All had an ECOG score of 0 or 1, meaning they were in reasonably good health overall.  All of the patients had first-line treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy. Then their cancer came back. There is no approved treatment for relapsed mesothelioma patients. So these patients enrolled in the nivolumab trial.  Although Opdivo is not a cure for mesothelioma, the results of the news trial show it could extend survival for the right patients.  How Does Opdivo Work? Nivolumab is sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is an immunotherapy … Continue reading Relapsed Mesothelioma Patients Live Longer on Opdivo in Phase 3 Trial »

Yervoy and Opdivo for Mesothelioma: Three Year Results Still Look Good

Yervoy and Opdivo for mesothelioma

Three years after the last patients enrolled in the clinical trial of Yervoy and Opdivo for mesothelioma, survival results still look promising for this immunotherapy treatment.  Researchers presented an update of the CheckMate 743 trial at the recent virtual conference of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). The team found that more than 23% of patients on Yervoy and Opdivo for mesothelioma were still alive at three years. Only 15% of the chemotherapy group were still living.  Immunotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma Alimta (pemetrexed) was the first drug to receive FDA approval for mesothelioma chemotherapy. The FDA approved it in 2004.  Before Alimta, patients had even fewer options that they do today. Most mesothelioma patients now start treatment with a … Continue reading Yervoy and Opdivo for Mesothelioma: Three Year Results Still Look Good »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery

immune checkpoint inhibitor

A report presented to an international gathering of lung cancer doctors shows an immune checkpoint inhibitor can make pre-surgery chemotherapy more effective for pleural mesothelioma patients.  The report was presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer. The week-long virtual conference ended yesterday.  Dr. Anne Tsao of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center presented her study results. They show that mesothelioma patients may benefit from an immune checkpoint inhibitor as part of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The same drug may also be helpful as a maintenance therapy after surgery. How Does an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Work? Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treatments work by manipulating the immune … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery »

CAR-T Cells + Keytruda: New Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma?

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

Researchers at a top US cancer center are experimenting with a new approach to immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma – with exciting results.  The research was done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and published in a recent issue of Cancer Discovery.  The Phase I trial is the first to treat pleural mesothelioma patients with CAR-T cell therapy and the PD-1 blocker pembrolizumab (Keytruda). Although the trial was small, 83 percent of patients lived for more than a year. Some lived for nearly two.  Malignant Mesothelioma commonly claims the lives of patients within months. This new type of immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma could be a breakthrough in improving survival. The Challenge of Malignant Mesothelioma Scientists have known about … Continue reading CAR-T Cells + Keytruda: New Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma? »

Study May Lead to Safer Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

immunotherapy for mesothelioma

New research conducted in Europe and at Harvard University may open the door to safer immunotherapy for mesothelioma patients.  Immunotherapy is one of the most promising approaches to fight malignant mesothelioma. But the potential side effects can be devastating.  Now, new data suggests there are ways to reduce the complications of immunotherapy for mesothelioma. The key is to target some of the white blood cells that trigger inflammation. Inflammation is the driver behind most of the serious side effects of immunotherapy.  Why Harness the Immune System? No one ever expects to contract mesothelioma. It is an extremely rare cancer. Most people who get it have spent time living or working around asbestos. Even among asbestos-exposed people, mesothelioma is rare. Scientists … Continue reading Study May Lead to Safer Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Early Data Show Promise for Galinpepimut-S and Opdivo in Mesothelioma Patients

galinpepimut-s and opdivo

A combination of the immunotherapy drugs galinpepimut-S and Opdivo may give mesothelioma patients a few extra months, according to newly-released data.  The clinical data is part of an ongoing study of galinpepimut-S and Opdivo. SELLAS Life Sciences Group, the makers of galinpepimut-S, released the latest findings this week.  Although the early data is based on just four mesothelioma cases, it appears to be promising. All of the study subjects had either relapsed after chemotherapy or failed to respond at all.  These patients had a median overall survival of 35.4 weeks on the combination of galinpepimut-S and Opdivo. Typical overall survival in relapsed patients with standard care is just 7 months.  Immunotherapy with Galinpepimut-S and Opdivo Galinpepimut-S and Opdivo are both … Continue reading Early Data Show Promise for Galinpepimut-S and Opdivo in Mesothelioma Patients »

Effectiveness of Keytruda: Dutch Study Offers Clues for Prediction

effectiveness of Keytruda

A new Dutch study offers some clues that might help doctors predict the effectiveness of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in individual mesothelioma patients.  Keytruda is the brand name for pembrolizumab. It is an immunotherapy drug called an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It helps unmask mesothelioma cells so that the immune system can find and fight them.  But the effectiveness of Keytruda is not consistent. Some patients respond well while others do not respond at all. The new study looked at how different people metabolize the drug. Understanding this could help doctors determine the best dose for each mesothelioma patient.  Pembrolizumab and its Link to Mesothelioma Survival Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer. Asbestos exposure is the main cause of … Continue reading Effectiveness of Keytruda: Dutch Study Offers Clues for Prediction »

Treatment with Dendritic Cells Leads to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival in Small Studies

dendritic cells

Three small studies suggest that dendritic cells may offer a new, more promising way to fight malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Dendritic cells are immune system cells that function as messengers. They are supposed to signal T-cells to attack cancers like malignant mesothelioma. But mesothelioma cells can keep dendritic cells from doing their job. The result is that the number of activated T-cells around mesothelioma tumors stays low and the tumors keep growing.   Now, Dutch researchers studying the problem say a vaccine made from dendritic cells may hold the answer. They analyzed the results of three small dendritic cell studies. These studies included a total of 29 mesothelioma patients.  Some of the patients in these studies lived much longer than mesothelioma patients normally … Continue reading Treatment with Dendritic Cells Leads to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival in Small Studies »

Higher PD-L1 Protein May Predict Shorter Mesothelioma Survival

PD-L1 protein

Mesothelioma patients with higher levels of the PD-L1 protein in their tumor cells have worse overall survival compared to those with lower levels. But that may not be true for patients who have immunotherapy. That news comes from a new European study of more than 200 patients. PD-L1 and its partner protein PD-1 (found in immune system cells) are popular targets for new immunotherapy drugs. But the new study aimed to find out if they impact mesothelioma survival independently of immunotherapy. The team concluded the PD-L1 protein may shorten lifespan. PD-1 does not seem to have the same effect.  Pleural Mesothelioma and the PD-L1 Protein Pleural mesothelioma is an intractable cancer of the lung lining. It often leads to poor … Continue reading Higher PD-L1 Protein May Predict Shorter Mesothelioma Survival »

Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments

different mesothelioma subtypes

A group of European pathologists say the different mesothelioma subtypes have significant differences in their pattern of gene expression. Exploiting these differences could help scientists craft more effective mesothelioma treatments.  Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But doctors know that genetics play a role, too. Newly-approved immunotherapy drugs target proteins expressed by specific genes. But these drugs work much better in some mesothelioma patients than they do in others.  The new study suggests that differences in the genetic profiles of different mesothelioma subtypes could help explain why.  Immunotherapy Drugs for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is an up-and-coming treatment approach for mesothelioma and other cancers. It harnesses the power of the person’s immune system to fight cancer.  In people with mesothelioma, … Continue reading Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments »

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