Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments

different mesothelioma subtypes

A group of European pathologists say the different mesothelioma subtypes have significant differences in their pattern of gene expression. Exploiting these differences could help scientists craft more effective mesothelioma treatments.  Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But doctors know that genetics play a role, too. Newly-approved immunotherapy drugs target proteins expressed by specific genes. But these drugs work much better in some mesothelioma patients than they do in others.  The new study suggests that differences in the genetic profiles of different mesothelioma subtypes could help explain why.  Immunotherapy Drugs for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is an up-and-coming treatment approach for mesothelioma and other cancers. It harnesses the power of the person’s immune system to fight cancer.  In people with mesothelioma, … Continue reading Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination

immunotherapy combination

An immunotherapy combination of tremelimumab and durvalumab has resulted in long-term survival for some mesothelioma patients in a new follow-up Italian study.  Tremelimumab and durvalumab (Imfinzi) received orphan drug designation from the FDA last year for liver cancer. Now, it looks like this immunotherapy combination could help some people with the rare asbestos cancer, too.  Mesothelioma patients who had the best results in the new study were those with a high number of mutated genes. Mesothelioma is often fatal within a year. But the longest-living patient in the study survived for more than 41 months.  Immunotherapy Combination Blocks Key Proteins White blood cells have the power to help combat mesothelioma. But a protein called CTLA-4 can block that ability. Tremelimumab … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination »

Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma

phase 3 clinical trial

A potential new first-line immunotherapy treatment for mesothelioma is now recruiting patients for a phase 3 clinical trial. The trial will compare the immunotherapy drug durvalumab (IMFINZI) combined with chemotherapy against chemotherapy alone.  Results from the phase 2 trials of this combination released last year were promising. Tests showed that it extended mesothelioma survival by about 8 months with no debilitating side effects.  The randomized phase 3 clinical trial will try to confirm these results in a larger group of people. Mesothelioma Treatment with Durvalumab Durvalumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Immune checkpoint inhibitors deactivate a cancer cell survival mechanism that helps cancer cells evade the immune system. Pleural mesothelioma and other types of cancer use proteins like PD-1 to … Continue reading Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma »

Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report

immunotherapy with Keytruda

  There’s more encouraging news about immunotherapy with Keytruda for people with pleural mesothelioma. The latest report comes from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  A doctor in the orthopaedic department at the school has malignant pleural mesothelioma. He and three colleagues recently published news of his “prompt and exceptionally favorable” response to firstline treatment with pembrolizumab.  Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Several studies suggest that adding immunotherapy with Keytruda to other mesothelioma treatments may improve outcomes.  But the new case report indicates that Keytruda could also be a good firstline option for some mesothelioma patients.  How Immunotherapy with Keytruda Works Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system against the cancer. … Continue reading Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report »

New Cancer Vaccine Might Help Resistant Mesothelioma

new cancer vaccine

Researchers at Harvard are developing a new cancer vaccine. Preliminary data suggest that it might work just as well as more complex and time-consuming personalized mesothelioma therapies.  Mesothelioma immunotherapy is a focus for researchers around the world. But this kind of treatment can take a long time to develop. And there is no single therapy that works for every patient.  The new cancer vaccine would combine chemotherapy and a more generic kind of immunotherapy. This approach has the potential to help mesothelioma patients who do not respond to standard treatments.  How Does Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Work? Immunotherapy is one element of the proposed new cancer vaccine. Immunotherapy fights cancers like mesothelioma by manipulating the immune system.  Some kinds of mesothelioma immunotherapy … Continue reading New Cancer Vaccine Might Help Resistant Mesothelioma »

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York are about to try a new kind of CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma in human patients.  This is the first Phase I trial of the new CAR T-cell approach. The therapy involves removing some of a patient’s T-cells, modifying them, and giving them back to fight cancer.  The new CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma involves cells that have been modified in new ways. They still seek out cancer cells. But these CAR T-cells are made to last longer and to undermine a primary mesothelioma cell defense mechanism. The FDA approved the study in September. Memorial Sloan Kettering is recruiting mesothelioma patients for it now.  T-Cells That Target Mesothelioma Cells CART T-cell therapy … Continue reading CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial »

T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma

new drug combination for mesothelioma

A month after the FDA approved a new drug combination for pleural mesothelioma, scientists are discovering more about who might benefit the most from this treatment.  A new report in EBioMedicine suggests that the success of the new drug combination for mesothelioma depends on the presence and activation of special immune system cells. Researchers in the Netherlands found that patients with enough of the right kind of T-cells had the best results. The findings could help doctors screen out mesothelioma patients who are less likely to benefit.  The Long-Awaited New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma  The two medicines in the new drug combination for mesothelioma are nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy).  The FDA approved a mix of the two immunotherapy drugs … Continue reading T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma »

Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

Nivolumab and Chemotherapy

Researchers in Germany are recruiting patients for a trial of nivolumab and chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma patients who have had surgery. Nivolumab (Opdivo) is an immunotherapy drug similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda). It blocks a protein that helps mesothelioma cells hide from the immune system. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The multicenter German study will test if a combination of nivolumab and chemotherapy can help keep tumors from growing back after mesothelioma surgery. Previous studies suggest that it has the potential to do so. How Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Work Immune checkpoint inhibitors like nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and ipilimumab (Yervoy) are a major focus for mesothelioma researchers. Mesothelioma cells are notoriously tenacious. They often fail to … Continue reading Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma »

First Patient Dosed in New Trial for Relapsed Mesothelioma

relapsed mesothelioma

Doctors in the UK have started treatment on the first patient in the trial of a new drug combination for relapsed mesothelioma. The drug is called bemcentinib. It blocks a protein encoded by the AXL gene. People with mesothelioma tend to overexpress this protein. Studies show that this extra AXL protein might help cancer cells hide from the immune system. It might also help them spread to other parts of the body.  In the new trial, patients with relapsed mesothelioma will get a combination of bemcentinib and Keytruda (pembrolizumab). Keytruda is an immunotherapy drug. Like bemcentinib, it helps make mesothelioma cells vulnerable to immune system attack.  Animal studies and tests in lung cancer patients show that bemcentinib may help immune … Continue reading First Patient Dosed in New Trial for Relapsed Mesothelioma »

“Exceptional Survival” in Some Patients on Nivolumab for Mesothelioma

nivolumab for mesothelioma

A real-world study of Dutch patients suggests that nivolumab for mesothelioma can dramatically extend survival in the right patients.  Nivolumab is sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is a type of immunotherapy. It works by making cancer cells more vulnerable to attack. The FDA approved nivolumab to treat non-small cell lung cancer and some other cancers.  It is still in the testing phase for malignant mesothelioma. The new report suggests that careful patient selection is the key to making nivolumab for mesothelioma work.  Why Nivolumab for Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by past exposure to asbestos. Like other types of cancer, it has ways of protecting itself from immune system attack. A protein called PD-L1 is … Continue reading “Exceptional Survival” in Some Patients on Nivolumab for Mesothelioma »

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