Tag Archives: immunotherapy

Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Canadian scientists say suppressing certain kinds of immune system cells could improve the effectiveness of immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a fast-growing membrane cancer caused by asbestos. Doctors have not found a single therapy that can beat it. For most patients, a combination of treatments offer the best survival odds. Immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma combines two types of treatments. Immunotherapy drugs activate the immune system while radiation attacks the tumor directly.  Mesothelioma tumors fight back against both kinds of treatments. But researchers testing a combination of the two may have found a way to make it even more powerful. How Immuno-Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Works Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most treatment-resistant cancers. Doctors have to attack it from many different … Continue reading Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Manipulating “Fight or Flight” Could Impact Effectiveness of Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

Effectiveness of Immunotherapy

Doctors at the University of Connecticut may have found a way to influence the effectiveness of immunotherapy by manipulating the body’s fight or flight response. The finding could have a bearing on the treatment of advanced mesothelioma.   Researchers used mice to confirm the connection between the sympathetic nervous system and the body’s ability to fight off cancer. The sympathetic nervous system regulates the “fight or flight” response to stress.  The report shows that this response impacts the development of natural killer cells. Drugs that alter that response might change the effectiveness of immunotherapy.  What is the Sympathetic Nervous System? When the body is under stress, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) releases a cascade of hormones and chemicals. These hormones increase … Continue reading Manipulating “Fight or Flight” Could Impact Effectiveness of Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor

The immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab could become a standard part of first-line mesothelioma treatment if the results of a new study hold true in a Phase 3 trial.  Australian researchers have become the latest to show the benefit of adding durvalumab to first-line chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is usually the first thing doctors use to treat pleural mesothelioma. But as many as half of mesothelioma patients do not respond to it. Researchers around the world are hopeful that adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor like durvalumab will lead to better response rates. What is an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor? Mesothelioma cells survive and thrive in part because they have ways of protecting themselves. Chemotherapy drugs are less likely to hurt them … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma »

T-Cell Immunotherapy Trial Could be Good News for Mesothelioma Patients

T-Cell Immunotherapy

The first four mesothelioma patients treated with a new kind of T-cell immunotherapy have responded well with few side effects.  That is the word from researchers working with the drug TC-210. TC-210 is a type of T cell therapy. It is made by TCR² Therapeutics. Malignant mesothelioma is one of several kinds of cancers that overproduce the protein mesothelin. In the Phase I trial, tumors regressed in all five cancer patients who received T-cell immunotherapy with TC-210.  Targeting Cancer with T-Cells T-cells are immune system cells that help fight cancer and other invaders. Mesothelioma and other cancers have ways of avoiding the body’s natural killer T-cell response. T-cell immunotherapy helps to turn it back on.  TC-210 is like a “living … Continue reading T-Cell Immunotherapy Trial Could be Good News for Mesothelioma Patients »

Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

A combination of three powerful mesothelioma therapies could become a new first-line treatment for mesothelioma if an upcoming clinical trial is successful. The makers of the experimental immunotherapy drug ONCOS-102 announced the new clinical trial. It will enroll up to 100 mesothelioma patients from around the world.  The trial will test ONCOS-102 along with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and standard chemotherapy. Keytruda is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Both ONCOS-102 and Keytruda have shown some promise when combined with mesothelioma chemotherapy. Targovax hopes that the triple therapy approach will produce an even more powerful first-line treatment for mesothelioma. Clinic Trial of ONCOS-102 A first-line treatment is a treatment for mesothelioma patients who have not yet had any other therapies. Most patients start with … Continue reading Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma »

Common Drugs May Impact Mesothelioma Survival After Immunotherapy

There is new evidence that taking certain common drugs could negatively impact mesothelioma survival after immunotherapy.  Drugs such as NSAIDs, antacids, corticosteroids, and antibiotics affect the microbiome. The microbiome is the collection of bacteria that live in a person’s gut.  The microbiome interacts with the immune system. Ohio State University researchers say some medicines disrupt the microbiome. This can threaten the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy.  The Microbiome and Immunity The microbiome is the collection of bacteria that live in the intestinal tract. Every mesothelioma patient’s microbiome is unique. Scientists are just beginning to understand the importance of the microbiome in human health.  At first glance, there might not seem to be a direct correlation between the microbiome and mesothelioma survival … Continue reading Common Drugs May Impact Mesothelioma Survival After Immunotherapy »

First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype

First-Line Immunotherapy

A new study suggests that people with sarcomatoid mesothelioma may fare better if they have first-line immunotherapy before considering chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for most people with mesothelioma. But a report in the journal Translational Lung Cancer questions the wisdom of that trend. The study focused on the outcomes of patients with the sarcomatoid mesothelioma subtype. These patients lived longer after immunotherapy than patients with other subtypes.  When first-line immunotherapy worked best, patients produced more white blood cells. Researchers say these patients might do well to avoid having chemotherapy first. Chemotherapy as Standard Mesothelioma Treatment First-line immunotherapy is not the typical mesothelioma treatment. Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) before other treatments.  Alimta is the … Continue reading First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype »

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 »