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Immunotherapeutic and Targeted Approaches to Mesothelioma Treatment

Immunotherapeutic and Targeted Approaches to Mesothelioma TreatmentImmunotherapeutic and targeted approaches might make mesothelioma more responsive to chemotherapy.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive disease. Asbestos exposure has led to globally poor outcomes. While mesothelioma is an uncommon disease, its occurrence is increasing worldwide. Immunotherapy drugs have the potential to make chemotherapy more effective for mesothelioma patients.

Researchers theorized immunotherapeutic and targeted approaches might make mesothelioma more responsive to chemotherapy. The latest results in Molecular and Clinical Oncology suggest that they were right.

The findings could have implications for people around the world with mesothelioma.

First- and Second-Line Treatment Options for Mesothelioma

Patients affected by mesothelioma have a very severe prognosis. Mesothelioma develops after three to four decades after initial exposure to asbestos.

For years, the main treatment for mesothelioma has been chemotherapy. These programs include specific anticancer drugs which play an essential role in treatment.

Second‑line treatments are less standardized. These treatments also contain anticancer drugs. And focus on immunotherapeutic and targeted approaches. In other words, these treatments target cancer cells in unique ways.

The latest anti-cancer drugs are a form of immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy is a form of treatment that uses the body’s immune system to reduce cancer. But most people diagnosed with mesothelioma do not start with immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy Treatment Options Target Mesothelioma

Immunotherapeutic and targeted approaches have revolutionized the treatment paradigm for mesothelioma.

Efforts are being made to improve the survival outcomes of mesothelioma patients.

Yet, mesothelioma, unlike other cancer types, is not considered an immunogenic cancer. Immunotherapeutic and targeted approaches may not work as well compared to other cancers. More research will confirm the most effective treatment approach.

What the Research Says

Clinical trials about recent treatment strategies of malignant pleural mesothelioma are encouraging. A recent report focuses on immunotherapeutic and targeted approaches.

Dr. Carlo Genova from the University of Genoa, Italy stated, “The demonstration of efficacy achieved by cancer immunotherapy represent a real cornerstone for the management of mesothelioma.”

Currently, several clinical trials are exploring the use of novel immunotherapy compounds.


Rijavec, E., Biello, F., Barletta, G., Dellepiane, C., & Genova, C. (2022). Novel approaches for the treatment of unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma: A focus on immunotherapy and target therapy. Molecular and Clinical Oncology, 16(4), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.3892/mco.2022.2522

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