Tag Archives: chemotherapy

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 »

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 »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery

immune checkpoint inhibitor

A report presented to an international gathering of lung cancer doctors shows an immune checkpoint inhibitor can make pre-surgery chemotherapy more effective for pleural mesothelioma patients.  The report was presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer. The week-long virtual conference ended yesterday.  Dr. Anne Tsao of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center presented her study results. They show that mesothelioma patients may benefit from an immune checkpoint inhibitor as part of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The same drug may also be helpful as a maintenance therapy after surgery. How Does an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Work? Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treatments work by manipulating the immune … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery »

HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma: “Safe, Feasible and Effective”

HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma

A newly published study says a localized form of chemotherapy called HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma is “safe, feasible, and effective.” Researchers from Italy’s University of Pisa conducted the study. They did a thorough review of the medical literature on the procedure since 1994.  They conclude that HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma after surgery keeps tumors in check and improves survival. The downside is that there is not enough standardization in how doctors use the procedure.  How HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma Works HITHOC stands for hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy. Standard mesothelioma chemotherapy enters the whole body at once through the bloodstream. That is one reason that many mesothelioma patients on chemotherapy have side effects like nausea and low white blood cell counts.  HITHOC … Continue reading HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma: “Safe, Feasible and Effective” »