A new study published in Frontiers in Immunology shows that doctors may be able to tell which patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma will respond better to immunotherapy.
If doctors can tell which patients will benefit from immunotherapy, they can create better treatment plans for this aggressive type of cancer.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs. It is caused by asbestos and is tough to treat.
MPM is a rare cancer, and the standard therapies are limited. This usually involves surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Mesothelioma patients can move from one type of treatment to another and, if their doctors agree, can sometimes use them in combination.
Even with treatment, the prognosis for patients with MPM is poor. The median overall survival is a little over a year.
Researchers are exploring a different treatment option for MPM called immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a method of treating disease by using the body’s natural immune response. This can mean trying to attract more immune cells to the site of the cancer. It can also involve making cancer cells more susceptible to an immune attack.
Response to Immunotherapy
In this study, researchers wanted to find out if they could predict how well patients with MPM would respond to immunotherapy. They looked at the genes of nearly 400 patients with MPM who were sorted into two groups. One group had more genes that helped fight cancer. The other group had more genes that made it harder for the immune system to fight cancer.
They found that the two groups were different in how long they lived and how they responded to treatment. They also found that the group with more genes that helped fight cancer would be more likely to respond well to immunotherapy.
The researchers hope that this study can help doctors to predict which patients will respond well to immunotherapy.
Liu Z, Wan R, Bai H, Wang J. Damage-associated molecular patterns and sensing receptors based molecular subtypes in malignant pleural mesothelioma and implications for immunotherapy. Front Immunol. 2023;14:1104560. Published 2023 Mar 24. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2023.1104560. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc10079989/