Tag Archives: immunotherapy

Immunotherapy with Durvalumab: Record Survival in Inoperable Mesothelioma

immunotherapy drug durvalumab

There is new evidence that the immunotherapy drug durvalumab may make chemotherapy more effective for people with inoperable pleural mesothelioma. Researchers recently achieved record mesothelioma survival times with this combination. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a poor prognosis. Surgery can sometimes help if it is caught early. But only a small percentage of patients are candidates for mesothelioma surgery. Most have chemotherapy, which is only moderately effective.  But new research presented to the nation’s largest gathering of cancer doctors shows the immunotherapy drug durvalumab may help.  Doctors at Johns Hopkins combined durvalumab with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy. Study participants lived an average of 8 months longer than is typical with this disease.  If further studies confirm the benefit, it could … Continue reading Immunotherapy with Durvalumab: Record Survival in Inoperable Mesothelioma »

Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma

side effects of Opdivo

Australian researchers are warning of some rare but deadly side effects of Opdivo (nivolumab) for pleural mesothelioma.  They have just published a case report of a mesothelioma patient on nivolumab, a drug often used to treat lung cancer. The patient developed swelling of the heart and other muscles. The swelling lasted for months, even after they stopped taking the drug.  The case report details the healthcare teams’ effort to manage these potentially lethal side effects of Opdivo. They caution that other immune checkpoint inhibitors might cause similar complications. How Opdivo Fights Mesothelioma The primary treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta). Eventually, most patients stop responding to chemotherapy. At that point, doctors may turn to an immunotherapy drug like … Continue reading Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma »

Infections Can Help Fight Mesothelioma, Study Suggests

infections can help fight mesothelioma

There is new evidence to support the idea that infections can help fight mesothelioma.  Researchers at a Belgium University say mice with mesothelioma had slower-growing tumors and lived longer when they were injected with a virus.  The research team used a mouse virus called lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus. The new study suggests that infections can help fight mesothelioma by activating cancer-killing immune system cells.  The study could help doctors understand how to use the immune system to combat malignant mesothelioma in human patients.  The Immune System and Mesothelioma The immune system is constantly on the lookout for cells that could turn into cancer. When natural killer cells recognize a potential mesothelioma cell, they destroy it.  But mesothelioma cells produce proteins that … Continue reading Infections Can Help Fight Mesothelioma, Study Suggests »

Photodynamic Therapy and Immunotherapy: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo?

photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy

Swiss doctors have used a combination of photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy to dramatically shrink mesothelioma tumors in mice.  More than a third of mice treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor and low-dose light therapy experienced complete regression of their cancer.  The new study explores how photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy can work together. The answers could have important implications for tens of thousands of people suffering from asbestos cancer.  Two Different Approaches to Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma occurs on the membrane around the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma. Around 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year. There is no cure. Photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy both show … Continue reading Photodynamic Therapy and Immunotherapy: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo? »

Photoimmunotherapy for Mesothelioma Reduces Tumor Volume in Mice

photoimmunotherapy for mesothelioma

Japanese researchers testing photoimmunotherapy for mesothelioma say they used the technology to successfully reduce the size of tumors in mice. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute in the US developed near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT). It is a new type of cancer immunotherapy that uses a chemical to make some cells more sensitive to light. When light is directed at these cells, they die. In their new study of photoimmunotherapy for mesothelioma, the Japanese team targeted podoplanin. Podoplanin is a glycoprotein. Many mesothelioma tumors overexpress podoplanin.  Targeting Mesothelioma Tumors with Light Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing membrane cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Standard cancer therapies do not work well for mesothelioma. Cancer researchers around the world are looking for alternative treatments.  Immunotherapy … Continue reading Photoimmunotherapy for Mesothelioma Reduces Tumor Volume in Mice »

Personalized Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma: New Research Sheds Lights

personalized immunotherapy for mesothelioma

New research conducted by a team of German and Austrian scientists could help make personalized immunotherapy for mesothelioma possible.  Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Immunotherapy is one of the most promising treatment approaches.  But immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda do not work for all patients. Scientists do not know exactly why this is. The new study suggests that understanding biomarkers could lead to better outcomes through personalized immunotherapy for mesothelioma.  How Does Immunotherapy Work? Immunotherapy is a broad term that means using the patient’s own immune system to fight their cancer. There are many different types of immunotherapy. Some involve stimulating an immune response. Others involve turning off the mechanism that lets mesothelioma cells hide from … Continue reading Personalized Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma: New Research Sheds Lights »

PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

A study of the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab showed “safety and efficacy” in mesothelioma patients who failed with other treatments.  Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy marketed under the brand name Opdivo. It is similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in that it blocks the tumor-promoting protein PD-L1. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.  A multicenter phase II Japanese study found the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab helped a group of pleural mesothelioma patients live longer. Just as importantly, the side effects of the drug were “manageable”.  Human Trial of PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. But many patients either do not respond to chemotherapy or they stop … Continue reading PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study »

Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

A new report says biomarkers are urgently needed to determine which patients would benefit from immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  Researchers made the statement in a review of immunotherapy drugs in testing for malignant mesothelioma.  They say some of these drugs have proven to be more effective than others for asbestos cancer. But a set of biomarkers would go a long way to funneling patients into the right immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  The Status of Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is believed to be the most promising up-and-coming cancer treatment. Immunotherapy treatments harness the strength of the body’s own immune response to attack cancer or help other drugs do so.  Like other types of cancer, mesothelioma cells have ways of avoiding … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed »

Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma

sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma

Japanese doctors are reporting a remarkable response from the immunotherapy drug nivolumab in a patient with sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma.  Sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma is a very rare form of a rare cancer. It accounts for about 10 percent of cases of malignant mesothelioma.  This subtype is typically less responsive to standard treatments than the more common epithelioid variety. But researches at Kyushu Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan say nivolumab turned things around for their patient when the case looked hopeless.  How is Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma DIfferent? Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the linings around organs. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the pleural membrane that surrounds the lungs.  There are three cell subtypes of mesothelioma. The three subtypes respond differently to mesothelioma treatments. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma »

Amazing Keytruda Case Study Offers Hope for Advanced Mesothelioma

keytruda case study

Italian doctors are reporting an “impressive clinical response” in a recently published Keytruda case study. The case is encouraging news for people with advanced malignant mesothelioma.   The case involves a 45-year-old woman with metastatic pleural mesothelioma. Doctors found cancer in her chest, brain, and abdomen. Even after several kinds of chemotherapy, the patient continued to go down hill.  Finally, when it looked like the woman would not live much longer, doctors tried Keytruda (pembrolizumab). The Keytruda case study documents the patient’s amazing turnaround.  Case Looked Hopeless The 45-year old woman in the Keytruda case study first went to the doctor because of shortness of breath. Doctors found that she had pleural effusion. This is a build-up of lung fluid that … Continue reading Amazing Keytruda Case Study Offers Hope for Advanced Mesothelioma »