The First FDA-Approved Mesothelioma Drug in 15 Years

The First FDA-Approved Mesothelioma Drug in 15 Years

On October 2, 2020, the first FDA-approved mesothelioma drug in 15 years hit the market. They approved a new combination of drugs for mesothelioma. The combination of nivolumab with ipilimumab is now considered the first-line treatment. It is the go-to for adult patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. The FDA based approval on results from an open-label clinical trial. The results of a new study show outcomes of Mesothelioma patients over the last 2 years. This often was often six cycles of chemotherapy. Patient survival using this new combination of drugs was an average of 18.1 months. This was an increase from 14.1 months for patients who only received chemotherapy. More clinical pharmacology data also supported an alternative dosing regimen. … Continue reading The First FDA-Approved Mesothelioma Drug in 15 Years »

New Drug Targeting Fibrosis may Help Mesothelioma Patients

Targeting Fibrosis in Mesothelioma has Therapeutic Benefits

Targeting fibrosis has therapeutic benefits in mesothelioma. Most drugs have limited effects in difficult-to-treat cancers such as mesothelioma. Often this is because not enough of the drug can get into the tumor to generate an anti-tumor effect. Fibrosis is a common element of mesothelioma. It causes the area around the cancer to stiffen. Fibrosis acts as a barrier, stopping drugs from getting into the cancer tumor. This limits the immune system’s ability to detect and access the tumor to kill it. A new study is looking at how a family of proteins called lysyl oxidases can help solve this problem. These proteins are associated with fibrosis in many cancers, including mesothelioma. Oncologists targeting fibrosis and this protein family may improve … Continue reading New Drug Targeting Fibrosis may Help Mesothelioma Patients »

New Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Kills Cancer ‘From the Inside Out’

new treatment for malignant mesothelioma

The University of Vermont is about to start a first-in-human trial of a new kind of treatment for malignant mesothelioma.  The new approach involves a drug called RSO-021. The drug works differently from other cancer therapies. It blocks the ability of cancer cells to manage their own waste products. It’s developers say the new treatment for malignant mesothelioma aims to kill cancer cells from the inside out.  The concept for RSO-021 was first developed at the University of Vermont. Scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the UK biotech company RS Oncology have tested the drug in mice with promising results.  Human trials of RSO-021 will start soon in the UK. US patients will be recruited in 2022.  … Continue reading New Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Kills Cancer ‘From the Inside Out’ »

Targeting Nerve Cells Might Offer New Way to Fight Mesothelioma, Other Cancers

targeting nerve cells

Israeli scientists may have found a new way to fight mesothelioma and other cancers from the inside out by targeting nerve cells.  Researchers at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology conducted the new study. It appears in the journal Science Advances.  Nerve cells called neurons help promote tumor growth. The team reasoned that targeting these tumor nerve cells with a damaging drug might slow cancer progression.  They tested the theory on triple-negative breast cancer tumors in mice. The tumors still grew but they grew much slower than the untreated tumors. The findings could have implications for other hard-to-treat cancers like malignant mesothelioma.  New Options Needed for Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma is one of the rarest and most treatment-resistant cancers. Many … Continue reading Targeting Nerve Cells Might Offer New Way to Fight Mesothelioma, Other Cancers »

Quinacrine for Mesothelioma? Anti-Malaria Drug May Help Patients with This Gene Mutation

quinacrine for mesothelioma

Another study on quinacrine for mesothelioma suggests that the once-popular anti-malaria drug might help a subset of patients with a particular gene mutation. Quinacrine is sold under the brand name Atabrine. It used to be the main anti-malaria drug but most doctors now prefer chloroquine.  Last fall, Penn State research on quinacrine for mesothelioma showed the drug has a “high degree of cytotoxicity” on its own. The newest study initially focused on the potential for synergistic effects of quinacrine and chemotherapy. It turns out that the drug can make cisplatin more lethal to mesothelioma cells. Further tests showed that cells with inactivated NF2 mutations were even more sensitive to quinacrine. As many as 60 percent of mesothelioma patients may have … Continue reading Quinacrine for Mesothelioma? Anti-Malaria Drug May Help Patients with This Gene Mutation »

Cancer-Fighting Gel Could “Change the Treatment Paradigm” for Mesothelioma

cancer-fighting gel

New National Cancer Institute research shows a cancer-fighting gel applied directly to the surface of a mesothelioma tumor could “change the treatment paradigm” for this troublesome cancer.  NCI researchers in Maryland developed the treatment and tested it in animals with mesothelioma tumors.  Their tests show mesothelioma tumors respond after just one application of the medication.  The authors of a new report on the treatment say surgeons could use it to enhance mesothelioma surgery. They could even use the cancer-fighting gel on its own as a stand-alone therapy.  The Challenge of Mesothelioma Tumor Shape Malignant mesothelioma is a surface malignancy. Surface malignancies are tumors that grow on the surface of other organs or tissues. In the case of mesothelioma, tumors occur … Continue reading Cancer-Fighting Gel Could “Change the Treatment Paradigm” for Mesothelioma »

Second-Line Treatment with Ramucirumab Improves Mesothelioma Survival

second-line treatment with ramucirumab

New evidence suggests that second-line treatment with ramucirumab after first-line chemotherapy may lead to longer survival in people with pleural mesothelioma.  Researchers in Italy recently published results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the drug. Ramucirumab inhibits a protein mesothelioma tumors need to form new blood vessels.  The study included 161 pleural mesothelioma patients from across Italy. Researchers gave half of them second-line treatment with ramucirumab and another drug called gemcitabine. The other half had second-line treatment with gemcitabine alone.  Results showed the ramucirumab group lived more than six months longer than those who got only gemcitabine.  Few Options for Recurrent Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with few good treatment options. Most patients start with chemotherapy with Alimta. … Continue reading Second-Line Treatment with Ramucirumab Improves Mesothelioma Survival »

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 »

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