Tag Archives: chemotherapy

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” »

Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma

TTFields and chemotherapy

TTFields and chemotherapy offer one of the most potent combinations against malignant mesothelioma tumors. Now a new study reveals why they work so well together.  Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) are low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields. They are delivered into the chest of mesothelioma patients with a vest-like device marketed under the brand name Optune Lua.  In 2019, a combination of TTFields and chemotherapy became the first new FDA-approved treatment for mesothelioma in 15 years.  Now, a new report in the journal Lung Cancer sheds light on the synergy between the two modes of mesothelioma treatment.  Combating Cancer with Electrical Currents The Tumor Treating Fields approach was created by Jersey-based Novocure. The technology uses electrical fields to destabilize critical … Continue reading Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma »

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study

neoadjuvant chemotherapy

A new prospective Japanese mesothelioma study shows the potentially life-saving benefits of undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery. This has been the preferred way to treat pleural mesothelioma for many years. But most of the studies on it are retrospective. This means that researchers analyze data on mesothelioma patients who already had treatment. In many cases, they are patients who have died.  The new study is one of the few prospective studies on neoadjuvant chemotherapy and mesothelioma surgery.  In a prospective study, researchers enroll patients and follow their progress through treatment.  Pleural mesothelioma is often fatal within a few months. But ninety-five percent of the study subjects who had presurgical chemotherapy followed by an operation were still alive a year … Continue reading Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study »

New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma

PD surgery and HITHOC

German doctors say a combination of extended PD surgery and HITHOC has produced some ‘remarkable’ results for patients with pleural mesothelioma.  Extended PD (pleurectomy with decortication) is a lung-sparing surgical procedure for people with cancer on the pleural membrane around the lungs. HITHOC is a method for infusing the area with heated chemotherapy drugs without sending those drugs through the whole body.  Together, extended PD surgery and HITHOC produced median progression-free survival of more than a year and a half for mesothelioma patients in a new German study. Their experience is the focus of a new article in the journal Respiration.  Removing and Killing Cancer Cells: The One-Two Punch Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that starts on the … Continue reading New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Comparing Second-Line Therapies for Recurrent Mesothelioma

recurrent mesothelioma

University of Pennsylvania researchers have some hopeful news for people with recurrent mesothelioma after chemotherapy: Second-line immunotherapy might increase their odds of survival. Previous studies show that recurrent mesothelioma patients who had immunotherapy lived longer than those on placebo. But doctors were not sure how second-line immunotherapy compared to second-line chemotherapy in these patients. The new study showed a clear survival advantage for those who had immunotherapy.  Coping with Recurrent Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a grim prognosis. Most people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis start treatment with chemotherapy. A combination of Alimta (pemetrexed) and a platinum drug is the most common first-line treatment.  But even the standard-of-care rarely keeps this virulent cancer at bay for … Continue reading Comparing Second-Line Therapies for Recurrent Mesothelioma »