First-Line Keytruda Treatment May Support Longer Mesothelioma Survival

first-line Keytruda treatment

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 »

New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma?

relapsed pleural mesothelioma

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? »

Effect of Chemotherapy on Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

effect of chemotherapy on immunotherapy

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 »

New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Trial Now Underway at Baylor

mesothelioma immunotherapy trial

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 »

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? »

New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma

cancer blood test

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 »

Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug Keytruda Gets a Boost from Opdivo Study

mesothelioma immunotherapy drug

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 »

Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Again Linked to Higher PD-L1 Levels

shorter mesothelioma linked to protein

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 »

Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Shows Promise in Combination Treatment

immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma

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 »

Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Produces “Substantial Treatment Response”

palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Doctors in Pennsylvania may have found a way to boost the effectiveness of palliative radiotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Palliative radiotherapy is used to help with mesothelioma symptoms. It uses lower doses of radiation. Doctors do not expect to treat mesothelioma with palliative radiotherapy. But researchers at the University of Pennsylvania think it could also be a treatment. They combined palliative radiotherapy with a special kind of gene therapy. The gene therapy affects the immune system. They say the combination produced a “substantial treatment response” in a man with mesothelioma. Immuno-gene Therapy and Palliative Radiotherapy Immuno-gene therapy uses genes to stimulate the immune system against cancer. In the new Pennsylvania case study, a 67-year-old man with mesothelioma received immuno-gene therapy. Doctors … Continue reading Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Produces “Substantial Treatment Response” »

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