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” »

Chemoimmunotherapy Called “Next Frontier” for Mesothelioma Cancer

mesothelioma cancer treatment

Mesothelioma researchers in Australia are calling the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy the “next frontier” in the treatment of mesothelioma cancer. In a study published in the journal Expert Opinions in Biological Therapy, the researchers reviewed past clinical trials on mesothelioma immunotherapy. They focused on studies published between 2016 and 2018. Their goal was to get a clearer picture of just how effective these drugs are and how they might be used in combination with other treatments. Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Cancer Currently, immunotherapy is not the primary treatment for mesothelioma cancer. Instead, most patients have chemotherapy, which is considered the gold standard treatment. For the past 15 years, Alimta has been the main chemotherapy drug for people with malignant mesothelioma. … Continue reading Chemoimmunotherapy Called “Next Frontier” for Mesothelioma Cancer »

Flaxseed Compound May Help Prevent Malignant Mesothelioma and Asbestosis

prevent malignant mesothelioma with flaxseed compound?

There is new evidence that a compound found in flaxseeds may help prevent malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. The compound is an anti-inflammatory which appears to calm down the overactive immune system after asbestos exposure in mice. Inflammation has long been considered a key factor in the development of mesothelioma. Scientists are hopeful that preventing it may also prevent malignant mesothelioma. Inflammatory Response to Asbestos Exposure Asbestos is a group of naturally-occuring minerals that cause cancer in people and animals. When a person accidentally breathes in or swallows asbestos fibers, they trigger an inflammatory response that can last for years. White blood cells flock to the area and damaging free radicals are produced. Over time, some cells may become … Continue reading Flaxseed Compound May Help Prevent Malignant Mesothelioma and Asbestosis »

New Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Will Test Personalized Immunotherapy

mesothelioma clinical trial of dendritic cells

A Dutch company has recruited the first patients into a pivotal mesothelioma clinical trial of autologous dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are immune system cells that work as messengers. They help tell T cells to attack cancers like malignant mesothelioma. The new mesothelioma clinical trial will test using the patient’s own dendritic cells (autologous cells) as a way to keep cancer from coming back after mesothelioma treatment. Expanding Mesothelioma Treatment Options There is only one approved treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma. This “standard of care” treatment is chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin. Although most mesothelioma patients receive this treatment, very few live longer than a year after diagnosis. A Netherlands-based company called Amphera is trying to change those odds. Its … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Will Test Personalized Immunotherapy »

PARP Inhibitors Could Enhance Immunotherapy Response in Mesothelioma

mesothelioma immunotherapy response

A new study suggests that drugs known as PARP inhibitors may enhance immunotherapy response in mesothelioma patients. According to a report published in the Journal of Clinical Investigations, PARP inhibitors worked especially well in cancers with mutations in their DNA repair genes. Some malignant mesothelioma patients have mutated DNA repair genes. In these patients, a PARP inhibitor may modify immunotherapy response, making drugs like Keytruda work better. How PARP Impacts Immunotherapy Response PARP stands for poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. It represents a family of proteins involved in a number of cellular processes, including DNA repair. PARP is also involved in apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Olaparib (Lynparza) is an example of a PARP inhibitor. PARP inhibitors attack tumors that already have … Continue reading PARP Inhibitors Could Enhance Immunotherapy Response in Mesothelioma »

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