“Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy

Responsiveness to immunotherapy

Italian researchers are experimenting with the idea of remodeling mesothelioma cells from the inside out to improve their responsiveness to immunotherapy. Malignant mesothelioma is highly resistant to standard cancer treatments. Immunotherapy is widely considered to be one of the most hopeful new approaches to this cancer. But this approach works better for some people than it does for others.  The difference may lie in the genes. Scientists at University Hospital of Siena believe that manipulating the gene expression of mesothelioma cells could be the key to bolstering responsiveness to immunotherapy.  Mesothelioma, Genetics, and Responsiveness to Immunotherapy Immunotherapy is a method of treating disease by using the body’s natural immune response. This can mean trying to attract more immune cells to … Continue reading “Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy »

Expert Says Malignant Mesothelioma Research ‘Turned a Corner’ in 2021

mesothelioma research

An internationally-known mesothelioma specialist says 2021 has been one of the best years yet for malignant mesothelioma research, giving patients and their families more reason than ever to be hopeful.  Hedy Lee Kindler, MD, is Director of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Mesothelioma Program. In a commentary in JCO Oncology Practice, Dr. Kindler says the outlook for mesothelioma sufferers this year is “far brighter than it has been for a very long time.” Dr. Kindler points to several recent advances in malignant mesothelioma research and treatment as reasons for optimism. The FDA approved the second systemic therapy for mesothelioma in late 2020. This year saw five positive mesothelioma clinical trials.  Kindler says these advances suggest that the future may … Continue reading Expert Says Malignant Mesothelioma Research ‘Turned a Corner’ in 2021 »

Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma

unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma

A top mesothelioma expert says chemotherapy may still be the best first-line treatment for unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma, even though immunotherapy is an increasingly popular option. Chemotherapy has been the primary way to treat mesothelioma since 2004. This is when the FDA approved the drug Alimta (pemetrexed). Alimta remained the only systemic treatment for asbestos cancer until 2020. In 2020, the FDA approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo). But Dean Fennell, PhD, of the UK’s University of Leicester says chemotherapy is still a good choice for many unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma cases. A Better Version of Chemotherapy? Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype. It is also the most responsive to treatment. For the healthiest patients, … Continue reading Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma »

New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression

CAR-T Cell Therapy

A new cancer treatment based on CAR-T cell therapy may have found a way to undermine a key protective mechanism in mesothelioma tumors. The treatment is called UCARTMESO. It is being developed by a French biopharmaceutical company called Cellectis. UCARTMESO targets cells that overexpress the protein mesothelin. It undermines some key genes in these cells preventing them from sending immune suppressive signals.  Immune suppressive elements in the area surrounding mesothelioma tumors have historically kept CAR-T cell therapy from working as well as it does for some other types of cancer.  But the developers of UCARTMESO say their approach may finally make CAR-T cell therapy a viable option for patients fighting asbestos cancer.  They presented their findings at the Society for … Continue reading New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression »

Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial

immunotherapy drug durvalumab

Another new study confirms what Johns Hopkins researchers have been banking on – that the immunotherapy drug durvalumab can make chemotherapy more effective for mesothelioma patients.  Durvalumab (IMFINZI) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of PD-1, a protein that mesothelioma cells use to protect themselves.  Researchers theorized that deactivating PD-1 with the immunotherapy drug durvalumab might make mesothelioma tumors more responsive to chemotherapy. The latest study results, published in Nature Medicine, suggest that they were right.  The findings could have implications for people around the world with inoperable malignant mesothelioma. How the Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Helps Fight Mesothelioma Durvalumab is one of several immune checkpoint inhibitors showing promise for mesothelioma in recent years. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial »

Drug Reation May Predict Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Results

mesothelioma immunotherapy results

Patients who have more serious reactions to the drug nivolumab tend to have better mesothelioma immunotherapy results than those who have little or no reaction.  That is the finding of a new study from Japan’s Tokushima University.  Researchers studied the cases of 11 patients treated with nivolumab between 2009 and 2021. They found that the patients who got the sickest from the drug had the best mesothelioma immunotherapy results.  The study’s authors say it’s even more reason to find ways to manage immunotherapy side effects. If patients can work through their worst reactions, more of them might survive mesothelioma.  Nivolumab in Mesothelioma Treatment Nivolumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is a type of … Continue reading Drug Reation May Predict Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Results »

Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Shrink Peritoneal Mesothelioma Tumors: New Case Reports

immunotherapy and chemotherapy

Two new case reports appear to support the idea that immunotherapy and chemotherapy can work together to fight peritoneal mesothelioma.  The case reports appears in the newest issue of the Journal of Immunotherapy. It details the cases of two patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma – a lethal cancer of the lining of the abdomen.  Both patients relapsed on standard platinum-based chemotherapy. But adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor dramatically improved their results. In one case, a patient’s tumor nearly disappeared.  Doctors at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center say the cases suggest that immunotherapy and chemotherapy might offer an alternative for patients who have run out of options.  Alternative Treatments Needed for Peritoneal Mesothelioma About a fifth of patients who … Continue reading Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Shrink Peritoneal Mesothelioma Tumors: New Case Reports »

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 »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Recurrent Mesothelioma: Early Adoption Gave Them Traction

immune checkpoint inhibitors for recurrent mesothelioma

A new report shows that doctors started using immune checkpoint inhibitors for recurrent mesothelioma at least two years before the practice was officially sanctioned. This early adoption gave ICIs traction to quickly become part of clinical practice.  Immune checkpoint inhibitors block mesothelioma’s built-in resistance to immune system attack. They are among the most promising approaches to combating this intractable cancer.  University of Pennsylvania researchers recently ran a retrospective study on immune checkpoint inhibitors for recurrent mesothelioma. The study looked at real-world mesothelioma patients at several different medical centers. The researchers found that, even though the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) did not revise it’s guidelines to include immune checkpoint inhibitors as a second-line treatment until 2017, doctors were using them … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Recurrent Mesothelioma: Early Adoption Gave Them Traction »

Statin Drugs Support Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma, New Study Finds

statin drug

There’s more evidence that statin drugs may improve the effectiveness of mesothelioma immunotherapy.  The new study, led by Korean biochemists, is not the first to show that these anti-cholesterol medications may help mesothelioma patients. But this one goes a step further to explain why they help.  Researchers focused on the impact of statin drugs on PD-1 expression. PD-1 is a protein that protects mesothelioma cells against immune system attack.  The findings suggest that, by lowering PD-1 levels, anti-cholesterol drugs may play a greater role in the future of mesothelioma treatment.  PD-1 and Mesothelioma Immunotherapy PD-1 is an immune checkpoint protein that occurs on the surface of cells. Normally, it helps keep the immune system from attacking healthy tissues. But mesothelioma … Continue reading Statin Drugs Support Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma, New Study Finds »

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!