Opdivo for Mesothelioma Recurrence is Safe and Effective, Study Finds

Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence

A new Japanese study appears to show that Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence after surgery is safe and effective.  Opdivo (nivolumab) is an immunotherapy drug similar to Keytruda (pembrolizumab). It blocks a protein called PD-L1. PD-L1 helps mesothelioma cells avoid detection by the immune system.  In the latest study, 35 patients received Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence. More than three quarters of them experienced either stable or decreased disease. Understanding How Nivolumab Works Nivolumab is most often used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. It makes tumors more vulnerable to immune system attack. Pleural mesothelioma has many of the same characteristics as lung cancer. This is one reason researchers are hopeful about Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence.  The primary treatment for mesothelioma is … Continue reading Opdivo for Mesothelioma Recurrence is Safe and Effective, Study Finds »

Could ONCOS-102 Be a New First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment?

first-line mesothelioma treatment

A new first-line mesothelioma treatment has moved a step closer to becoming reality.  New data show that the immunotherapy drug ONCOS-102 continues to look promising, nine months into a Phase I/II clinical trial. The drug was especially helpful to mesothelioma patients who had not yet had any treatment.  Norweigian drug maker Targovax made the announcement earlier this month. ONCOS-102 is an experimental drug based on a modified virus. The virus helps it target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The latest results show ONCOS-102 helps standard mesothelioma chemotherapy work better. Targovax says the next step will be a larger test of the combination as a first-line mesothelioma treatment.  Clinical Trial of ONCOS-102 The power of ONCOS-102 comes from the … Continue reading Could ONCOS-102 Be a New First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment? »

Best Practices for Pleural Mesothelioma: Updated Recommendations from Europe’s Top Doctors

best practices for pleural mesothelioma

Europe’s top mesothelioma experts have released new best practices for pleural mesothelioma. They include the latest recommendations on diagnosis, staging, monitoring, and treatment. The task force was made up of members from:  European Respiratory Society (ERS) European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) This is the first time the best practices for pleural mesothelioma were updated since 2009. The group based the new recommendations on mesothelioma data gathered in the last decade.  Mesothelioma Remains a Global Challenge Malignant mesothelioma is one of the world’s most challenging cancers. Doctors know that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. But many other things about this disease are a mystery.  Some people with a … Continue reading Best Practices for Pleural Mesothelioma: Updated Recommendations from Europe’s Top Doctors »

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Could Be Limited During Pandemic

Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma

It may be harder this year for patients who need it to get surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma.  An international group called RENAPE keeps track of peritoneal cancers like mesothelioma. The group advises doctors on the best treatment practices. The group is advising hospitals to tighten the criteria for who can get surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma during the pandemic.  “The Covid-19 pandemic is profoundly changing the organization of healthcare access,” say French doctors writing about the RENAPE recommendations. “This is particularly so for peritoneal neoplastic diseases, for which curative treatment mobilizes substantial personnel, operating room and intensive care resources.” Mesothelioma Treatment Options Mesothelioma is a rare cancer associated with asbestos exposure. About a fifth of all mesothelioma cases are the peritoneal … Continue reading Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Could Be Limited During Pandemic »

Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma

side effects of Opdivo

Australian researchers are warning of some rare but deadly side effects of Opdivo (nivolumab) for pleural mesothelioma.  They have just published a case report of a mesothelioma patient on nivolumab, a drug often used to treat lung cancer. The patient developed swelling of the heart and other muscles. The swelling lasted for months, even after they stopped taking the drug.  The case report details the healthcare teams’ effort to manage these potentially lethal side effects of Opdivo. They caution that other immune checkpoint inhibitors might cause similar complications. How Opdivo Fights Mesothelioma The primary treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta). Eventually, most patients stop responding to chemotherapy. At that point, doctors may turn to an immunotherapy drug like … Continue reading Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma »

Photodynamic Therapy and Immunotherapy: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo?

photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy

Swiss doctors have used a combination of photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy to dramatically shrink mesothelioma tumors in mice.  More than a third of mice treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor and low-dose light therapy experienced complete regression of their cancer.  The new study explores how photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy can work together. The answers could have important implications for tens of thousands of people suffering from asbestos cancer.  Two Different Approaches to Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma occurs on the membrane around the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma. Around 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year. There is no cure. Photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy both show … Continue reading Photodynamic Therapy and Immunotherapy: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo? »

Research Shows Location Impacts Mesothelioma Therapy in Italy

location impacts mesothelioma therapy

Italian cancer researchers have released new data on how patient location impacts mesothelioma therapy in the country.  Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer. Most doctors see very few cases in the course of their careers. This lack of expertise may explain why the preferred treatments vary from one region to the next.  Italy’s Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare led the new research. They analyzed pleural mesothelioma outcomes across the country. The conclusion is that location impacts mesothelioma therapy in Italy because there is not enough sharing of information. Choosing a Mesothelioma Treatment Approach Pleural mesothelioma is challenging to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. Even experienced mesothelioma doctors often struggle to know the best way to approach … Continue reading Research Shows Location Impacts Mesothelioma Therapy in Italy »

Photoimmunotherapy for Mesothelioma Reduces Tumor Volume in Mice

photoimmunotherapy for mesothelioma

Japanese researchers testing photoimmunotherapy for mesothelioma say they used the technology to successfully reduce the size of tumors in mice. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute in the US developed near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT). It is a new type of cancer immunotherapy that uses a chemical to make some cells more sensitive to light. When light is directed at these cells, they die. In their new study of photoimmunotherapy for mesothelioma, the Japanese team targeted podoplanin. Podoplanin is a glycoprotein. Many mesothelioma tumors overexpress podoplanin.  Targeting Mesothelioma Tumors with Light Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing membrane cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Standard cancer therapies do not work well for mesothelioma. Cancer researchers around the world are looking for alternative treatments.  Immunotherapy … Continue reading Photoimmunotherapy for Mesothelioma Reduces Tumor Volume in Mice »

Predicting Kidney Damage from Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

kidney damage from chemotherapy

It may be possible to predict which mesothelioma patients are at risk for kidney damage from chemotherapy and take steps to prevent it.  Japanese cancer researchers have linked a protein called megalin to cisplatin-related nephrotoxicity.  Cisplatin is one of the main drugs used to treat mesothelioma. The researchers say people with more megalin in their urine are more likely to have kidney damage from chemotherapy with cisplatin.  Kidney Damage is a Risk of Chemotherapy Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer with no cure. Although scientists are working on other options, chemotherapy is the main treatment for mesothelioma. Most patients have a combination of Alimta (pemetrexed) and the platinum-based drug cisplatin. One of the biggest risks with cisplatin is kidney damage … Continue reading Predicting Kidney Damage from Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Personalized Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma: New Research Sheds Lights

personalized immunotherapy for mesothelioma

New research conducted by a team of German and Austrian scientists could help make personalized immunotherapy for mesothelioma possible.  Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Immunotherapy is one of the most promising treatment approaches.  But immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda do not work for all patients. Scientists do not know exactly why this is. The new study suggests that understanding biomarkers could lead to better outcomes through personalized immunotherapy for mesothelioma.  How Does Immunotherapy Work? Immunotherapy is a broad term that means using the patient’s own immune system to fight their cancer. There are many different types of immunotherapy. Some involve stimulating an immune response. Others involve turning off the mechanism that lets mesothelioma cells hide from … Continue reading Personalized Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma: New Research Sheds Lights »

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