Tag Archives: immunotherapy

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 »

Treatment Options Improving in the ‘New Era’ for Mesothelioma

treatment options

Calling it a “new era” for malignant pleural mesothelioma, doctors from four of the nation’s top cancer centers have just published an update on treatment options for this rare disease.  The article was prepared by mesothelioma experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, NYU Langone Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  The article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology highlights the recent FDA approvals of a new medical device and a new immunotherapy combination for pleural mesothelioma. The authors say these and other advances are “generating momentum” to find better mesothelioma therapies.  Tumor Treating Fields Changing the Game Pleural mesothelioma is fast-growing and difficult to treat. Mesothelioma rarely responds … Continue reading Treatment Options Improving in the ‘New Era’ for Mesothelioma »

Hope for Mesothelioma? Parasite Triggers Tumor Regression in the Lab

tumor regression

A parasite found in cat feces triggered tumor regression in recent animal studies in China. It is a hopeful sign that the same process might be adapted to help human mesothelioma patients, too.   The parasite is toxoplasma gondii. It is a single-celled parasite that can only replicate inside live host cells. It is typically found in the feces of cats or in soil or water contaminated by their feces.  It is capable of entering most cells in most warm-blooded animals.  The goal of the new Chinese study was to determine whether toxoplasma gondii could modulate immune response in tumors. If it can, it might help immunotherapy drugs cause tumor regression in people with mesothelioma and other hard-to-treat cancers.  How Mesothelioma … Continue reading Hope for Mesothelioma? Parasite Triggers Tumor Regression in the Lab »

Celiac Disease May Be a Little-Known Complication of Mesothelioma Immunotherapy

mesothelioma immunotherapy

A new French case report shines a spotlight on a little-known potential complication of mesothelioma immunotherapy: celiac disease.  Celiac disease is a chronic digestive and immune disorder brought on by sensitivity to gluten. Over time, celiac disease damages the small intestine causing long-lasting digestive problems. It can prevent patients from getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy.  The new case report appears in Frontiers in Immunology. It details the case of a 70-year-old man who developed celiac disease after treatment with nivolumab. The case suggests that celiac disease may be an underrecognized side effect of mesothelioma immunotherapy. It is a reminder for mesothelioma patients and doctors to pay close attention to digestive problems after treatment.  Stimulating the Immune System … Continue reading Celiac Disease May Be a Little-Known Complication of Mesothelioma Immunotherapy »

“Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy

Responsiveness to immunotherapy

Italian researchers are experimenting with the idea of remodeling mesothelioma cells from the inside out to improve their responsiveness to immunotherapy. Malignant mesothelioma is highly resistant to standard cancer treatments. Immunotherapy is widely considered to be one of the most hopeful new approaches to this cancer. But this approach works better for some people than it does for others.  The difference may lie in the genes. Scientists at University Hospital of Siena believe that manipulating the gene expression of mesothelioma cells could be the key to bolstering responsiveness to immunotherapy.  Mesothelioma, Genetics, and Responsiveness to Immunotherapy Immunotherapy is a method of treating disease by using the body’s natural immune response. This can mean trying to attract more immune cells to … Continue reading “Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy »

Expert Says Malignant Mesothelioma Research ‘Turned a Corner’ in 2021

mesothelioma research

An internationally-known mesothelioma specialist says 2021 has been one of the best years yet for malignant mesothelioma research, giving patients and their families more reason than ever to be hopeful.  Hedy Lee Kindler, MD, is Director of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Mesothelioma Program. In a commentary in JCO Oncology Practice, Dr. Kindler says the outlook for mesothelioma sufferers this year is “far brighter than it has been for a very long time.” Dr. Kindler points to several recent advances in malignant mesothelioma research and treatment as reasons for optimism. The FDA approved the second systemic therapy for mesothelioma in late 2020. This year saw five positive mesothelioma clinical trials.  Kindler says these advances suggest that the future may … Continue reading Expert Says Malignant Mesothelioma Research ‘Turned a Corner’ in 2021 »

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 »

New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression

CAR-T Cell Therapy

A new cancer treatment based on CAR-T cell therapy may have found a way to undermine a key protective mechanism in mesothelioma tumors. The treatment is called UCARTMESO. It is being developed by a French biopharmaceutical company called Cellectis. UCARTMESO targets cells that overexpress the protein mesothelin. It undermines some key genes in these cells preventing them from sending immune suppressive signals.  Immune suppressive elements in the area surrounding mesothelioma tumors have historically kept CAR-T cell therapy from working as well as it does for some other types of cancer.  But the developers of UCARTMESO say their approach may finally make CAR-T cell therapy a viable option for patients fighting asbestos cancer.  They presented their findings at the Society for … Continue reading New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression »

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 »