There is hope that a new lung cancer trial combining Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields could lead to a new treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Recent studies show Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is one of the most promising immunotherapy drugs against malignant mesothelioma. Electrical device Tumor Treating Fields is only the second treatment to receive FDA approval for mesothelioma. This summer, the manufacturers of these two treatments announced they would team up. They will test Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The results could impact the future of mesothelioma treatment, too. Two Promising Therapies: Keytruda Keytruda is an immunotherapy drug. It blocks a protein called PD-1. Many types of cancer cells overproduce PD-1 to evade the immune … Continue reading Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields: New Hope for Mesothelioma?
A new first-line mesothelioma treatment has moved a step closer to becoming reality. New data show that the immunotherapy drug ONCOS-102 continues to look promising, nine months into a Phase I/II clinical trial. The drug was especially helpful to mesothelioma patients who had not yet had any treatment. Norweigian drug maker Targovax made the announcement earlier this month. ONCOS-102 is an experimental drug based on a modified virus. The virus helps it target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The latest results show ONCOS-102 helps standard mesothelioma chemotherapy work better. Targovax says the next step will be a larger test of the combination as a first-line mesothelioma treatment. Clinical Trial of ONCOS-102 The power of ONCOS-102 comes from the … Continue reading Could ONCOS-102 Be a New First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment?
Australian researchers say too many mesothelioma clinical trial results are skewed because they do not include enough “real world” patients. By “real world patients”, they mean those who fit the profile of the typical mesothelioma patient. The researchers say some of the most important trials limit enrollment to younger people or those with few other health problems. They say that leaves out a lot of patients. It also makes mesothelioma clinical trial results less relevant in practice. How Clinical Trials Work Scientists typically test proposed new mesothelioma treatments on isolated cells in a lab first. If the results look promising, they will then run tests in animals to make sure the treatment is safe. Before a medicine receives approval for … Continue reading Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Results May Be Skewed by Narrow Inclusion Criteria
The makers of the once-promising experimental mesothelioma drug defactinib have announced that they will stop a clinical trial of the drug early because, by itself, it does not appear to help. But this may not be the end of the road for defactinib in mesothelioma treatment. Defactinib (VS-6063) had been the leading compound for its manufacturer, Boston-based Verastem. While standard mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs like pemetrexed, cisplatin, gemcitabine and vinorelbine can sometimes shrink mesothelioma tumors, they also increase the percentage of stem cells which can give rise to new cancer. Defactinib was designed to help keep malignant mesothelioma patients from relapsing by inhibiting a crucial signaling pathway (FAK) inside the stem cells. Early studies were encouraging, but a recent review of … Continue reading Scrubbed Trial May Not Be the End for Mesothelioma Drug
The best second-line treatment for mesothelioma patients who fail to respond to standard chemotherapy is probably to enroll in a clinical trial. The authors of a newly-published paper on the subject reached that conclusion after reviewing the results of 29 studies on potential second- or third-line mesothelioma treatments. Most patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive malignancy associated with asbestos exposure, will undergo chemotherapy, either as a stand-alone treatment or as part of a multimodal approach. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of mesothelioma patients treated with standard pemetrexed/cisplatin chemotherapy will show a response. Even those who respond to chemotherapy often relapse again later. Scientists around the world are searching for new drugs and drug combinations to offer mesothelioma patients … Continue reading Clinical Trial May be Best Second-Line Approach for Mesothelioma
Doctors in the Department of Respiratory medicine at York Teaching Hospital in the UK are taking a hard stance against the surgical treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. In a recent article in the journal Thorax, the group contends that the research surrounding mesothelioma surgery is largely flawed and that the majority of mesothelioma patients would be better served if their doctors suggested alternatives. “Belief that the modest survival times reported after radical surgery, whether alone or as part of multimodal therapy, are longer than they would have been without surgery relies on data from highly selected, uncontrolled, retrospectively analyzed case series,” they write. They point out that the only randomized study, the Mesothelioma and Radical Surgery (MARS) trial showed no measurable … Continue reading Mesothelioma Report Suggests Clinical Trials Better Than Surgery