Tag Archives: chemotherapy

Cost Comparison of Immunotherapy vs. Traditional Chemotherapy in Mesothelioma

Cost Comparison of Immunotherapy vs. Traditional Chemotherapy in Mesothelioma

A new study does a cost comparison of immunotherapy over traditional chemotherapy. Immunotherapy and chemotherapy are common in the first-line treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The news came from Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology. Traditional Chemotherapy In 2004, the FDA approved pemetrexed for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pemetrexed is often taken together with cisplatin. It is for patients whose disease is either inoperable or who are not candidates for surgery. Pemetrexed + cisplatin/carboplatin are chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy is a group of toxic drugs that kill cells by damaging their DNA. They target both cancerous and healthy cells. Patients with this chemo regimen also take folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements. This helps to reduce side effects from the … Continue reading Cost Comparison of Immunotherapy vs. Traditional Chemotherapy in Mesothelioma »

Treatment Protocol of an 8-Year Survivor of Mesothelioma

Treatment Protocol of an 8-Year Survivor of Mesothelioma

A new article in Scholars Journal of Medical Case Reports outlines the treatment protocol of an 8-year survivor of mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is difficult to treat. This aggressive cancer is caused by asbestos exposure and is resistant to most standard cancer therapies, including radiotherapy. Many people diagnosed with mesothelioma die within a few months to a year. Paul Kraus is considered the longest documented survivor of mesothelioma in the world. He was diagnosed in 1997 and was given little hope of survival. Not willing to give up, he worked with a team of doctors to create his own tailored treatment protocol. This protocol included dramatic lifestyle changes, experimental therapies, dietary changes, mind-body medicine, and other modalities. Paul was fortunate. … Continue reading Treatment Protocol of an 8-Year Survivor of Mesothelioma »

Second Treatment Course May Increase Mesothelioma Patient Survival

Second Treatment Course May Increase Mesothelioma Patient Survival

Oncologists report that a second treatment course may be a good option for some mesothelioma patients. Almost all mesothelioma patients experience progression after the first treatment. Recommendations for a second treatment are still unclear. There is very limited information available on second and repeat treatments. Pemetrexed combined with platinum-based chemotherapy is a standard first treatment for mesothelioma. A report in BMC Cancer says that a repeat treatment may be good for eligible patients. In this study, patients who received a second treatment of chemotherapy survived longer. Understanding Second Treatments or Retreatments Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure. There have been several recent treatment advances. But the mesothelioma prognosis is still poor with an average … Continue reading Second Treatment Course May Increase Mesothelioma Patient Survival »

First-Line Chemotherapy versus Immunotherapy versus Maintenance Therapy

Chemotherapy versus Immunotherapy versus Maintenance Therapy

A recent study compared mesothelioma patients’ survival by physician’s choice of treatment. Is first-line chemotherapy the best choice? Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects older adults. Mesothelioma patients often have other comorbidities making real-world treatment decisions challenging. The first was by choice of first-line chemotherapy. The second was the physician’s choice of second-line chemotherapy versus immunotherapy. And the third was by the physician’s choice of use of maintenance therapy. Physician’s Choice of First-Line Chemotherapy Drugs This is the largest real-world study of U.S. patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Scientists analyzed physicians’ choice of first-line chemotherapy, second-line therapy, and maintenance therapy. In the first-line chemotherapy analysis, there was no significant difference in patient survival. As of this writing, the only … Continue reading First-Line Chemotherapy versus Immunotherapy versus Maintenance Therapy »

Nivolumab + Ipilimumab Provides Long-Term Survival Benefit in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Nivolumab + Ipilimumab Provides Long-Term Survival Benefit

Nivolumab + ipilimumab continues to provide a long-term survival benefit in malignant pleural mesothelioma. A new report shows a 3-year follow-up in the CheckMate Clinical Trial. Long-term clinical benefits remained the same for all patient groups. Background on the Nivolumab + Ipilimumab Treatment Two years ago, the FDA approved the combination of nivolumab + ipilimumab. It is the first-line treatment for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. The CHECKMATE randomized multi-part trial investigated the effectiveness. The trial showed a significant improvement in patient survival. Today, this treatment combination improves patient survival rates over chemotherapy. Mesothelioma patients showed an improved survival using this line of treatment. A new report from the Annals of Oncology describes updated data with at least … Continue reading Nivolumab + Ipilimumab Provides Long-Term Survival Benefit in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma »

Bevacizumab: An Immune Therapy in Mesothelioma Treatment

Bevacizumab An Immune Therapy in Mesothelioma Treatment

Bevacizumab, an immune therapy, enhances the immune system to target cancer cells. Historically, chemotherapy drugs were considered the standard treatment. But, a new study highlights bevacizumab, an immune therapy. It can now be considered in combination with mesothelioma treatments where accessible. Chemotherapy has been a popular treatment therapy. Cytotoxic chemotherapy uses anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It results in a modest improvement in patient survival. But toxicity limits the eligible patient population. Targeted Chemotherapy Agents Immunotherapies are now playing a greater role in the treatment of many cancers. The last decade has presented a paradigm shift. There has been a change in the way we understand the relationship between the immune system and cancer progression. Several targeted agents … Continue reading Bevacizumab: An Immune Therapy in Mesothelioma Treatment »

Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma

unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma

A top mesothelioma expert says chemotherapy may still be the best first-line treatment for unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma, even though immunotherapy is an increasingly popular option. Chemotherapy has been the primary way to treat mesothelioma since 2004. This is when the FDA approved the drug Alimta (pemetrexed). Alimta remained the only systemic treatment for asbestos cancer until 2020. In 2020, the FDA approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo). But Dean Fennell, PhD, of the UK’s University of Leicester says chemotherapy is still a good choice for many unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma cases. A Better Version of Chemotherapy? Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype. It is also the most responsive to treatment. For the healthiest patients, … Continue reading Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma »

Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial

immunotherapy drug durvalumab

Another new study confirms what Johns Hopkins researchers have been banking on – that the immunotherapy drug durvalumab can make chemotherapy more effective for mesothelioma patients.  Durvalumab (IMFINZI) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of PD-1, a protein that mesothelioma cells use to protect themselves.  Researchers theorized that deactivating PD-1 with the immunotherapy drug durvalumab might make mesothelioma tumors more responsive to chemotherapy. The latest study results, published in Nature Medicine, suggest that they were right.  The findings could have implications for people around the world with inoperable malignant mesothelioma. How the Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Helps Fight Mesothelioma Durvalumab is one of several immune checkpoint inhibitors showing promise for mesothelioma in recent years. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial »

Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Shrink Peritoneal Mesothelioma Tumors: New Case Reports

immunotherapy and chemotherapy

Two new case reports appear to support the idea that immunotherapy and chemotherapy can work together to fight peritoneal mesothelioma.  The case reports appears in the newest issue of the Journal of Immunotherapy. It details the cases of two patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma – a lethal cancer of the lining of the abdomen.  Both patients relapsed on standard platinum-based chemotherapy. But adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor dramatically improved their results. In one case, a patient’s tumor nearly disappeared.  Doctors at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center say the cases suggest that immunotherapy and chemotherapy might offer an alternative for patients who have run out of options.  Alternative Treatments Needed for Peritoneal Mesothelioma About a fifth of patients who … Continue reading Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Shrink Peritoneal Mesothelioma Tumors: New Case Reports »

Researchers Pinpoint Optimal Frequency Using TTFields for Mesothelioma Treatment

TTFields for mesothelioma treatment

The makers of TTFields for mesothelioma treatment have released a new report that sheds light on how the therapy can be most effective.  TTFields stands for “Tumor Treating Fields”. It is a device that emits intermediate frequency alternating electrical fields. These fields are designed to disrupt cancer DNA and shrink tumors.  The FDA approved TTFields for mesothelioma treatment in 2019. At the time, it was the first new treatment for this intractable cancer since 2004. It is still the only non-invasive treatment for pleural mesothelioma.  The new report from researchers at Novocure may help doctors use TTFields more effectively for their patients with inoperable mesothelioma. TTFields for Mesothelioma Treatment The Tumor Treating Fields approach was first used to treat glioblastoma. … Continue reading Researchers Pinpoint Optimal Frequency Using TTFields for Mesothelioma Treatment »