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 »

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 »

Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help?

new form of immunotherapy

A new form of immunotherapy using a patient’s own cells is making headlines this month after a new study shows it may help some people with advanced lung cancer.  Like pleural mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer is a virulent form of cancer that is hard to treat. Even the newest immunotherapy drugs have had only moderate success.  The new form of immunotherapy is the subject of an article in the journal Nature Medicine. It details the hopeful results of patients in a small Phase I pilot trial of the treatment. If it is proven to work for lung cancer, it could be good news for mesothelioma patients, too.  Giving Immune Cells a Boost Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are immune cells. They … Continue reading Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help? »

New “Real World” Study of Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

immunotherapy for peritoneal meosthelioma

A new study from one of the nation’s top cancer centers supports the role of immunotherapy in peritoneal mesothelioma treatment. Immunotherapy is a treatment approach that aims to harness the body’s natural defense system to fight cancer.  Several immunotherapy drugs have been tested for pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs. Last year, the FDA approved a new combination of immunotherapy drugs for the pleural form of asbestos cancer.  But there is less data on immunotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center just released their findings on a class of immunotherapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). They say it is the first “real-world evidence” of clinical outcomes with ICIs in peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors … Continue reading New “Real World” Study of Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Mesothelioma »

Comparing Second-Line Therapies for Recurrent Mesothelioma

recurrent mesothelioma

University of Pennsylvania researchers have some hopeful news for people with recurrent mesothelioma after chemotherapy: Second-line immunotherapy might increase their odds of survival. Previous studies show that recurrent mesothelioma patients who had immunotherapy lived longer than those on placebo. But doctors were not sure how second-line immunotherapy compared to second-line chemotherapy in these patients. The new study showed a clear survival advantage for those who had immunotherapy.  Coping with Recurrent Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a grim prognosis. Most people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis start treatment with chemotherapy. A combination of Alimta (pemetrexed) and a platinum drug is the most common first-line treatment.  But even the standard-of-care rarely keeps this virulent cancer at bay for … Continue reading Comparing Second-Line Therapies for Recurrent Mesothelioma »

New PD-L1 Inhibitor Could Make Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Safer

PD-L1 Inhibitor

A new PD-L1 inhibitor may be on the horizon for people with malignant mesothelioma. A Phase I trial suggests it may be safer than some previous immunotherapy drugs.  PD-L1 is a protein that helps mesothelioma cancer cells hide from the immune system. Several of the most promising immunotherapy drugs for mesothelioma block PD-L1. But the new PD-L1 inhibitor is different. CX-072 (pacmilimab) has the ability to specifically target the tumor. This could reduce the risk for dangerous side effects since normal cells are less likely to be affected.  San Francisco-based CytomX Therapeutics developed CX-072 and a team of international researchers has been studying it. This week, they released the findings of their Phase I trial. The trial included patients with … Continue reading New PD-L1 Inhibitor Could Make Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Safer »

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? »

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