PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

A study of the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab showed “safety and efficacy” in mesothelioma patients who failed with other treatments.  Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy marketed under the brand name Opdivo. It is similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in that it blocks the tumor-promoting protein PD-L1. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.  A multicenter phase II Japanese study found the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab helped a group of pleural mesothelioma patients live longer. Just as importantly, the side effects of the drug were “manageable”.  Human Trial of PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. But many patients either do not respond to chemotherapy or they stop … Continue reading PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study »

Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

A new report says biomarkers are urgently needed to determine which patients would benefit from immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  Researchers made the statement in a review of immunotherapy drugs in testing for malignant mesothelioma.  They say some of these drugs have proven to be more effective than others for asbestos cancer. But a set of biomarkers would go a long way to funneling patients into the right immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  The Status of Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is believed to be the most promising up-and-coming cancer treatment. Immunotherapy treatments harness the strength of the body’s own immune response to attack cancer or help other drugs do so.  Like other types of cancer, mesothelioma cells have ways of avoiding … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed »

Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma

sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma

Japanese doctors are reporting a remarkable response from the immunotherapy drug nivolumab in a patient with sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma.  Sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma is a very rare form of a rare cancer. It accounts for about 10 percent of cases of malignant mesothelioma.  This subtype is typically less responsive to standard treatments than the more common epithelioid variety. But researches at Kyushu Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan say nivolumab turned things around for their patient when the case looked hopeless.  How is Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma DIfferent? Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the linings around organs. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the pleural membrane that surrounds the lungs.  There are three cell subtypes of mesothelioma. The three subtypes respond differently to mesothelioma treatments. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma »

Amazing Keytruda Case Study Offers Hope for Advanced Mesothelioma

keytruda case study

Italian doctors are reporting an “impressive clinical response” in a recently published Keytruda case study. The case is encouraging news for people with advanced malignant mesothelioma.   The case involves a 45-year-old woman with metastatic pleural mesothelioma. Doctors found cancer in her chest, brain, and abdomen. Even after several kinds of chemotherapy, the patient continued to go down hill.  Finally, when it looked like the woman would not live much longer, doctors tried Keytruda (pembrolizumab). The Keytruda case study documents the patient’s amazing turnaround.  Case Looked Hopeless The 45-year old woman in the Keytruda case study first went to the doctor because of shortness of breath. Doctors found that she had pleural effusion. This is a build-up of lung fluid that … Continue reading Amazing Keytruda Case Study Offers Hope for Advanced Mesothelioma »

Immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 Shows Promise for Mesothelioma

immunotherapy with ONCOS-102

Early results are in on the latest trial of immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 and the news is good for pleural mesothelioma patients.  Norweigian drug maker Targovax released the news about ONCOS-102 earlier this week. The new drug is based on an oncolytic virus that targets mesothelioma cells. When the virus gets inside the cells, it triggers an immune response.  Early tests of immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 showed it helped mesothelioma chemotherapy work better. Now, a larger study appears to confirm the effect. The news could lead to new and better treatments for this intractable cancer.  What is an Oncolytic Virus? An oncolytic virus is a virus that targets cancer cells. ONCOS-102 was designed to seek out mesothelioma cells. It is made out … Continue reading Immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 Shows Promise for Mesothelioma »

CRISPR Gene Editing Technique and the Future of Mesothelioma Treatment

CRISPR gene editing tehcnique

The powerful CRISPR gene editing technique might have a role to play in the future of mesothelioma treatment. CRISPR is a method for altering certain genes to help fight disease. This week, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania released data from the first study of CRISPR in US cancer patients.  It was only a safety study, but the results are promising. They could have wide-ranging implications for patients fighting aggressive cancers like malignant mesothelioma.  Modifying Genes To Help Fight Cancer The CRISPR gene editing technique is a simplified version of the method bacteria cells use to defend themselves against viruses. This antiviral defense system is called CRISPR-Cas9. The new Penn Medicine study involved just three cancer patients. Two of the … Continue reading CRISPR Gene Editing Technique and the Future of Mesothelioma Treatment »

Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma Dealt Setback by New Trial Results

pembrolizumab for mesothelioma

There has been a setback for researchers focused on the promise of pembrolizumab for mesothelioma. New research suggests that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may not be the miracle mesothelioma drug that some were hoping for.  The Phase III trial results were presented at a the European Society of Medical Oncology conference now underway in Spain. They suggest that pembrolizumab for mesothelioma may be no better than chemotherapy for improving survival. Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma: How it Works Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare but lethal cancer. It is usually associated with on-the-job asbestos exposure. There is no cure. The only drug approved for mesothelioma treatment is Alimta (pemetrexed).   Cancer researchers around the world are working hard to find other mesothelioma treatments. Pembrolizumab for … Continue reading Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma Dealt Setback by New Trial Results »

Mesothelioma Tumor Response to Nivolumab Detailed in New Case Study

mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab

An Indian woman in still alive two years after a mesothelioma diagnosis thanks to a remarkable mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab. Nivolumab is sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is a type of immunotherapy. Nivolumab is sometimes used for lung cancer that progresses after chemotherapy. A hospital in Mumbai tried nivolumab on a pleural mesothelioma patient after several types of chemotherapy did not work. Doctors say the mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab was so great that the patient no longer needed supplemental oxygen.  Opdivo in Mesothelioma Treatment Opdivo is not FDA-approved for mesothelioma treatment. Only Alimta (pemetrexed) holds that designation. But pleural mesothelioma grows quickly and is hard to treat. Even the gold standard therapies often do not work … Continue reading Mesothelioma Tumor Response to Nivolumab Detailed in New Case Study »

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 »

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