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 »

Immunotherapy Treatment ONCOS-102: News Keeps Getting Better

immunotherapy treatment

The news just keeps getting better for the virus-based immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102.  Norweigian drug maker Targovax recently released the final survival data from a two-year study of ONCOS-102 in people with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Eighteen months into the study, it looked like some of the patients on the immunotherapy treatment would live longer than two years. Now that the ONCOS-102 study has passed the two year mark, researchers say median survival may be even longer.  Average survival is a year or less on standard mesothelioma therapies. This makes the news about ONCOS-102 especially exciting.  Standard of Care Versus Immunotherapy Treatment Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis. Even patients in overall good health face a grim outlook. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Treatment ONCOS-102: News Keeps Getting Better »

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials: Eligibility May Be Too Strict, Study Finds

mesothelioma clinical trials

A new Australian study suggests that too many people are being left out of mesothelioma clinical trials under current trial rules.  The researchers say that eligibility requirements around pleural mesothelioma studies are too strict. The result is that many people never have the opportunity to take advantage of investigational treatments only available through studies.  In addition, the trial data gathered may not really apply to average mesothelioma patients. The Australian researchers are calling for changes that will let more people qualify for mesothelioma clinical trials.  What Are Mesothelioma Clinical Trials? Pleural mesothelioma is an intractable cancer of the lining around the lungs. People who get it usually worked in an industry that exposed them to asbestos. Once asbestos gets in … Continue reading Mesothelioma Clinical Trials: Eligibility May Be Too Strict, Study Finds »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102

long-term mesothelioma survival

The makers of the immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102 have released promising new data on its ability to promote long-term mesothelioma survival. The report came less than two weeks after ONCOS-102 got FDA approval to fast-track its development.  ONCOS-102 is an investigational treatment made from a modified virus. The virus helps the treatment target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone.  The new long-term mesothelioma survival data shows half of people on ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy have lived for 21 months. And the study is not over yet. Typical survival with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy is about a year.  Targovax says the data shows how valuable ONCOS-102 could be for patients with this rare but aggressive malignancy. Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102 »

ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment

Fast Track designation

An immunotherapy treatment called ONCOS-102 has received fast track designation from the FDA as a pleural mesothelioma therapy. Targovax is a Norweigian company that makes ONCOS-102. The company made the announcement today. It means that ONCOS-102 could be available to help people with pleural mesothelioma sooner.  Fast-track designation is for therapies with the potential to address serious medical conditions that have no good treatments. Right now, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma and very few viable treatment options. The FDA based its decision on encouraging animal studies and early human trials of ONCOS-102.   Importance of Fast Track Designation ONCOS-102 is an experimental treatment made from a modified virus. The virus allows ONCOS-102 to overcome one of the biggest challenges … Continue reading ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study

diabetes drug

A new study suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading.  The study is not the first study of metformin for mesothelioma. But this one dives deeper into how the diabetes drug may actually work against asbestos cancer.  Drugs to treat mesothelioma can be expensive. But metformin pills are common and relatively cheap. If the drug proves to be helpful against mesothelioma, it could offer hope to thousands of patients fighting this rare cancer.  Mesothelioma Treatment with a Diabetes Drug? Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos. It affects the thin tissue surrounding the lungs.  As cancer grows on this membrane, it prevents the natural movement of the … Continue reading Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study »

Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study

maintenance therapy

Dutch researchers say administering maintenance therapy with gemcitabine after chemotherapy may help mesothelioma patients live longer than supportive care alone.  Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite sold under the brand name Gemzar. Oncologists use it to treat several other types of cancer. When cancer cells absorb gemcitabine, they can no longer divide into new cancer cells.  Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment. If they are healthy enough, they may also have mesothelioma surgery. A maintenance therapy is a treatment that follows the main treatment. It is an effort to maintain the effects of the treatment.  The new Dutch study shows gemcitabine may be a safe and effective choice for maintenance therapy. What Does Maintenance Therapy Mean? Right now, there … Continue reading Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study »

Spread of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Slows with Apatinib

spread of peritoneal mesothelioma

An investigational drug called apatinib may help stop the growth and spread of peritoneal mesothelioma. Chinese researchers recently tested the VEGF inhibitor on mice infected with human mesothelioma.  They found that the spread of peritoneal mesothelioma slowed way down in the presence of apatinib. The drug worked in the lab and in live mice with few serious side effects. If larger experiments confirm apatinib’s effectiveness, the next step could be trials in human mesothelioma patients.  Apatinib Blocks Blood Vessel Formation Apatinib is also known as Rivoceranib. It keeps cancer cells from using the protein VEGF. VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) allows tumors to spawn new blood vessels. A rich supply of fresh blood fuels the growth and spread of peritoneal … Continue reading Spread of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Slows with Apatinib »

Altered Herpes Virus Halts Mesothelioma Growth in New Study

altered herpes virus

An altered herpes virus has been shown to stabilize the growth of mesothelioma tumors in half of patients who participated in a new UK study.  Researchers at the University of Sheffield injected thirteen mesothelioma patients with a cancer cell-seeking version of HSV, the virus that causes herpes.  The altered herpes virus is not able to replicate in non-dividing cells. This also makes it most destructive inside cancer cells. It is also attenuated or weakened so it does not cause herpes. Other studies show the virus (HSV1716) can stimulate the immune system against cancer. The new report suggests that it may be a safe new way to fight mesothelioma, too. The Need for a New Mesothelioma Drug The FDA has only approved … Continue reading Altered Herpes Virus Halts Mesothelioma Growth in New Study »

Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows

Vitamin D

A study conducted in Italy suggests that Vitamin D3 might help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading. The biologically active form of Vitamin D is calcitriol or D3. Other studies suggest it might have anticancer properties. But no one has studied its effect on mesothelioma cells until now.  The researchers applied Vitamin D3 to pleural mesothelioma cells in the lab. Not only did it weaken the cells, but it also blocked their ability to divide into new cells. The study suggests that Vitamin D may even boost the effectiveness of mesothelioma chemotherapy. The Cancer-Fighting Role of Calcitriol The body naturally produces calcitriol. It plays a role in regulating the cell cycle, including apoptosis or natural cell death. Vitamin D3 … Continue reading Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows »

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