As concern about the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, there could be an unexpected upside to social distancing for mesothelioma patients. Social distancing is the recommendation that people not gather in larger groups. Even in smaller settings, the CDC recommends that people stay at least six feet apart from one another to avoid spreading the virus. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by the virus SARS-CoV2. Because humans have not yet built up immunity to SARS-CoV2, it is more likely to make them sick. Mesothelioma patients may have even lower resistance to disease. This is why social distancing for mesothelioma patients is especially important. As people become more aware of the threat to themselves at others, they are less … Continue reading Social Distancing for Mesothelioma Patients: Unexpected Upside?
An international team of scientists has identified a protein biomarker for mesothelioma that appears to shorten survival. The biomarker is CD70. It belongs to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family of proteins. New research suggests that patients who express more of this protein biomarker for mesothelioma have faster-growing tumors that are less likely to respond to treatment. High CD70 levels have been linked with tumor aggression in some other types of cancer. This is the first time they have been linked to malignant pleural mesothelioma survival. CD70 and Mesothelioma Prognosis Pleural mesothelioma is a highly aggressive type of tumor. It grows on the membranes around internal organs. Mesothelioma rarely responds to standard cancer treatments. People diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma are … Continue reading Protein Biomarker for Mesothelioma Linked to Shorter Survival
New data suggests first-line Keytruda treatment helps lung cancer patients more than chemotherapy – even if chemotherapy patients add Keytruda later. The news is likely to have implications for people with pleural mesothelioma, too. German researchers presented the data earlier this week at the World Lung Cancer Conference in Barcelona. The presentation was based on three years of the KEYNOTE-024 trial. The trial focused on lung cancer. But Keytruda is also an up-and-coming drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer similar to non-small cell lung cancer. Blocking PD-L1 with First-Line Keytruda Treatment Keytruda is the brand name for pembrolizumab. It is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that blocks a protein called PD-L1. To be eligible for first-line … Continue reading First-Line Keytruda Treatment May Support Longer Mesothelioma Survival
There is new evidence that adding a drug called vorinostat to immunotherapy might help relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients. The new study comes from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. It focused on patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is similar to pleural mesothelioma in many ways. The study found that patients who received vorinostat along with an immune checkpoint inhibitor had better results. The findings could be good news for relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients, too. Different Immunotherapy Drugs Vorinostat is sold under the brand name Zolinza. It is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. HDAC inhibitors alter the way proteins are expressed inside cells. They also stimulate the immune system. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) like Keytruda also … Continue reading New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma?
Belgian scientists say they are still not sure about the effect of chemotherapy on immunotherapy for mesothelioma. They reached that conclusion after testing several different chemotherapy drugs on mesothelioma cells in the lab. The combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy is “chemoimmunotherapy”. It aims to harness the unique powers of each treatment approach. A meta-analysis last May called chemoimmunotherapy the “next frontier” in mesothelioma treatment. But the new Belgian study on the effect of chemotherapy on immunotherapy highlights how much doctors still do not know about the combo. Immune Checkpoints Are the Key When it is working properly, the immune system is supposed to find and kill cancer cells before they become mesothelioma tumors. But mesothelioma cells can hide from the … Continue reading Effect of Chemotherapy on Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma
Cancer researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have launched a new mesothelioma immunotherapy trial. The trial combines the cancer drug Opdivo (nivolumab) with injections of a modified virus called MTG201. Baylor scientists are hoping to recruit 12 pleural mesothelioma patients whose cancer has come back after chemotherapy. The treatment combination appeared to work well in mice with mesothelioma. If it works as well in people, this new mesothelioma immunotherapy trial could change the outlook for many people with malignant mesothelioma. How the New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Trial Will Work Opdivo is the brand name for nivolumab. It blocks a protein called PD-1 in cancer cells. PD-1 is one of the ways that mesothelioma cells evade the immune system. Opdivo is often … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Trial Now Underway at Baylor
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?
Israeli researchers hope that a new kind of cancer blood test could help detect mesothelioma and other malignancies earlier. Earlier diagnosis could lead to longer mesothelioma survival. The blood test is based on the idea that immune system cells undergo metabolic changes when they fight a cancer like pleural mesothelioma. Different kinds of changes are associated with different kinds of cancers. The new cancer blood test detects these changes. Immune System Cells and Metabolism The immune system is the body’s primary way of defending itself against diseases like malignant mesothelioma. Metabolism refers to the way immune system cells expend energy to fight cancer. An Israeli company is developing the new cancer blood test. It focuses on the metabolism of immune … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma
The company that makes a promising new mesothelioma immunotherapy drug got a boost from a competitor’s study this week. The makers of the lung cancer drug Opdivo have released some disappointing results from their latest lung cancer trial. The findings present another setback for Bristol-Myers Squibb. But they are good news for Merck, the maker of the mesothelioma immunotherapy drug Keytruda. In the wake of the publication, Merck’s stocks rose while Bristol-Myers’ dropped. How Opdivo Works Opdivo is the brand name for nivolumab. It is a monoclonal antibody that blocks PD-1. PD-1 is a cell surface protein expressed by some lung cancer and mesothelioma tumors. An Australian study estimated that more than 72 percent of mesothelioma patients overexpress PD-1. Opdivo … Continue reading Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug Keytruda Gets a Boost from Opdivo Study
Patients with the rarest mesothelioma subtypes tend to experience shorter mesothelioma survival. Now, new mesothelioma research suggests that may have something to do with a protein called PD-L1. French researchers studied the PD-L1 levels in the tumors of 214 mesothelioma patients. They compared the levels with each patient’s subtype and their treatment outcome. The results may help explain cases of shorter mesothelioma survival, especially among patients with sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma subtypes. PD-L1 Levels and Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is one of the proteins that helps mesothelioma cells and other cancers “hide” from the immune system. Normally, the immune system finds and destroys renegade cells. But if a patient’s mesothelioma tumor expresses higher amount of PD-L1, … Continue reading Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Again Linked to Higher PD-L1 Levels