People with recurrent mesothelioma may get another chance at treatment with the immunotherapy drug avelumab. Malignant mesothelioma is highly resistant to standard cancer therapies. That means that the asbestos cancer usually comes back, or recurs, even after treatment. The most common treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy with Alimta. Alimta is the only drug approved specifically for mesothelioma. Patients with recurrent mesothelioma often have several rounds of chemotherapy with Alimta. But once the standard mesothelioma treatments stop working, patients do not have many options. Now a new study suggests that some cases of recurrent mesothelioma that stop responding to Alimta may respond to avelumab. Considering Avelumab for Recurrent Mesothelioma Bavencio is the brand name for avelumab. It is a type … Continue reading Avelumab May Offer a Second-Line Option for Recurrent Mesothelioma
Hong Kong researchers may have found a way to get around one of the biggest challenges of virotherapy for mesothelioma. Virotherapy uses a modified virus to deliver medicine or genetic information into the body. Modified viruses are useful because they can be “programmed” to seek out cancer cells. But modified viruses do not always behave the way scientists hope they will. One problem with some virotherapy for mesothelioma is that it can block the natural immune response. The body naturally fights malignant mesothelioma by releasing white blood cells called CTLs (T lymphocytes). But MVTT virotherapy can prevent the release of CTLs, even while it attacks the tumor. “Although MVTT [a type of virotherapy] leads to regression of established mesothelioma dose-dependently, … Continue reading Virotherapy for Mesothelioma Can Be More Effective
Researchers in Maryland and Missouri have started human testing of a new type of immunotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma. If the human trial of this new CAR T-cell therapy goes as well as the laboratory tests, this could be good news for many people with asbestos cancer. CAR stands for chimeric antigen receptor. CAR T-cell therapy works by “reprogramming” a patient’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Tests show this therapy can work well for blood-based cancers like leukemia. But the results have not been as good for solid tumors like peritoneal mesothelioma. MaxCyte is the American company than makes the new drug. They are hoping that their approach to immunotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma will be better. Preparing CAR T-cell Therapy … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Mesothelioma: New Drug Trial Begin
Hypofractionated radiation for mesothelioma could change how doctors treat this rare cancer. Researchers in Toronto, Canada have been testing hypofractionated radiation in mesothelioma surgery patients. They have used it to shrink tumors before lung-removing EPP surgery. Hypofractionated radiation is faster than than standard radiation. It may also cause fewer side effects. Now, doctors want to know what else this type of radiation might be good for. They plan to test how well hypofractionated radiation works with less radical mesothelioma surgery. There is also evidence that hypofractionated radiation may strengthen mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment. Radiation Before Mesothelioma Surgery Doctors at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto ran a clinical trial called SMART. SMART stands for Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy. … Continue reading Radiation May Help Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Work Better
A new article published by a pair of UK scientists predicts a brighter future for mesothelioma patients thanks to a growing understanding of the disease and how to treat it. Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most closely associated with asbestos. Although only a small percentage of asbestos-exposed people go on to develop mesothelioma, those who do face a grim prognosis. Doctors learned early on that standard cancer treatments rarely work for patients with mesothelioma. But Anna Bibby and Nick Maskell with Bristol Medical School and the North Bristol Lung Centre say the large amount of high-quality mesothelioma research conducted in the last decade has moved medicine closer to finding a cure for this intractable cancer. Important Mesothelioma Research Findings In … Continue reading Study Predicts New Mesothelioma Therapies on the Horizon
There is new evidence that low doses of the drug Opdivo (nivolumab) may extend lung cancer survival as well as the standard dose—at a much lower cost. The news may have implications for people with the lung-related asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma, who are also sometimes treated with Opdivo. Pleural mesothelioma is a hard-to-treat cancer that grows on the lining around the lungs and causes many of the same symptoms as lung cancer. Some evidence has suggested that Opdivo, an immunotherapy drug already approved for the treatment of recurrent lung cancer, may soon become the first drug approved for recurrent mesothelioma, too. Now, a newly-published Korean study finds that patients may not need as much of the drug as originally thought … Continue reading Opdivo for Malignant Mesothelioma: Could a Lower Dose Work?
As part of what they call the “new era” of mesothelioma immunotherapy research, doctors in Ohio and Florida have just published the case report of a man whose pleural mesothelioma was stopped in its tracks with the drug nivolumab. The case is detailed in the latest issue of the American Journal of Case Reports by researchers at the University of Florida and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. Details of the Mesothelioma Case Report The patient in question had been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that typically carries a poor prognosis, even with aggressive treatment. In fact, even though chemotherapy with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (Alimta) is considered the standard-of-care for malignant mesothelioma, fewer than 4 … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug Produces ‘Exceptional and Sustained Response’ in Mesothelioma Patient
There may be a new treatment option on the horizon for mesothelioma patients whose cancer has come back again after treatment. Researchers in the UK are even predicting that this drug could become the new standard of care for relapsed malignant mesothelioma. The drug is nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. Already approved for the treatment of recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, nivolumab has been shown in recent clinical trials to reduce the size of mesothelioma tumors and may even extend mesothelioma survival. Opdivo in the News If you think you have been hearing more about nivolumab in the news lately, you are right. Laboratory results have suggested that this immunotherapy drug could be one of … Continue reading Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment?
AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy drug tremelimumab may still have a chance as a novel mesothelioma treatment, even though an international clinical trial completed last year found that it did not extend mesothelioma survival. In a new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Italian researchers report that combining the monoclonal antibody with another drug called durvalumab “appeared active” as a second-line mesothelioma treatment with “a good safety profile”. Tremelimumab’s Rocky Start as a Mesothelioma Treatment Hopes were initially high for tremelimumab, a monoclonal antibody that works by binding to the protein CTLA-4 on the surface of white blood cells and preventing it from inhibiting the cells’ cancer-fighting power. The US even granted tremelimumab “orphan drug” status in 2015, a designation designed to … Continue reading Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma
The results are in on the Phase I/II trial of the mesothelioma drug ONCOS-102 and researchers say there is reason to be excited. As Surviving Mesothelioma first reported in the fall of 2016, ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy significantly slowed the growth of malignant mesothelioma tumors in preclinical studies of infected mice. Now, the first human trial suggests that it can do the same thing in some human mesothelioma patients, boosting the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy and improving mesothelioma survival. Mesothelioma Study Results According to news released by Norway-based drug maker Targovax this week, three out of six patients with unresectable mesothelioma responded to a combination of ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy. In two patients, their mesothelioma tumors stopped growing and in … Continue reading New Immunotherapy Drug Stops Mesothelioma in Half of Patients Tested