Tag Archives: immunotherapy

Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments

different mesothelioma subtypes

A group of European pathologists say the different mesothelioma subtypes have significant differences in their pattern of gene expression. Exploiting these differences could help scientists craft more effective mesothelioma treatments.  Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But doctors know that genetics play a role, too. Newly-approved immunotherapy drugs target proteins expressed by specific genes. But these drugs work much better in some mesothelioma patients than they do in others.  The new study suggests that differences in the genetic profiles of different mesothelioma subtypes could help explain why.  Immunotherapy Drugs for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is an up-and-coming treatment approach for mesothelioma and other cancers. It harnesses the power of the person’s immune system to fight cancer.  In people with mesothelioma, … Continue reading Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination

immunotherapy combination

An immunotherapy combination of tremelimumab and durvalumab has resulted in long-term survival for some mesothelioma patients in a new follow-up Italian study.  Tremelimumab and durvalumab (Imfinzi) received orphan drug designation from the FDA last year for liver cancer. Now, it looks like this immunotherapy combination could help some people with the rare asbestos cancer, too.  Mesothelioma patients who had the best results in the new study were those with a high number of mutated genes. Mesothelioma is often fatal within a year. But the longest-living patient in the study survived for more than 41 months.  Immunotherapy Combination Blocks Key Proteins White blood cells have the power to help combat mesothelioma. But a protein called CTLA-4 can block that ability. Tremelimumab … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination »

Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments

real-world mesothelioma patients

The newest study on real-world mesothelioma patients illustrates the need for more ways to treat this devastating cancer.  Many studies focus on a carefully-chosen subset of patients. Patients have to meet specific guidelines to qualify for a mesothelioma clinical trial.  But the authors of a new report in Future Oncology focused on real-world mesothelioma patients in community clinics. The goal was to see what kinds of treatments these patients got and how well they worked.  The results show most people do not have other treatments after first-line therapy. They also suggest that mesothelioma doctors and patients need new first-line alternatives.  First- and Second-Line Mesothelioma Therapies Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancer on the membranes around internal organs. Pleural mesothelioma … Continue reading Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments »

Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma

phase 3 clinical trial

A potential new first-line immunotherapy treatment for mesothelioma is now recruiting patients for a phase 3 clinical trial. The trial will compare the immunotherapy drug durvalumab (IMFINZI) combined with chemotherapy against chemotherapy alone.  Results from the phase 2 trials of this combination released last year were promising. Tests showed that it extended mesothelioma survival by about 8 months with no debilitating side effects.  The randomized phase 3 clinical trial will try to confirm these results in a larger group of people. Mesothelioma Treatment with Durvalumab Durvalumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Immune checkpoint inhibitors deactivate a cancer cell survival mechanism that helps cancer cells evade the immune system. Pleural mesothelioma and other types of cancer use proteins like PD-1 to … Continue reading Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102

long-term mesothelioma survival

The makers of the immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102 have released promising new data on its ability to promote long-term mesothelioma survival. The report came less than two weeks after ONCOS-102 got FDA approval to fast-track its development.  ONCOS-102 is an investigational treatment made from a modified virus. The virus helps the treatment target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone.  The new long-term mesothelioma survival data shows half of people on ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy have lived for 21 months. And the study is not over yet. Typical survival with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy is about a year.  Targovax says the data shows how valuable ONCOS-102 could be for patients with this rare but aggressive malignancy. Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102 »

Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients

immune profile

Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have come up with a better way to analyze the immune profile of people with malignant mesothelioma.  A person’s immune profile is the unique set of immune system cells and how they are working at any given time. The functionality of immune system cells in the area right around the tumor – the tumor microenvironment or TME – is especially telling.  The system developed at MD Anderson assigns different colors to key immune system markers. They applied the color system to a sample from the microenvironment of mesothelioma tumors. The result was an image of each tmor’s immune profile. These images could help doctors determine new targets for mesothelioma treatment.  What is … Continue reading Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients »

Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy

Biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma

Two of the most important biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma are not much help when it comes to tracking response to immunotherapy. Top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Pennsylvania drew that conclusion based on data from a cohort of 58 patients.  They focused on two primary biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma: SMRP and fibulin-3. Doctors use both of these markers to diagnose and plan treatment for mesothelioma.  The study confirms the correlation between these markers and mesothelioma tumor volume. But the Penn Medicine researchers say these biomarkers of pleural mesothelioma were “not useful” for measuring immunotherapy response. Understanding Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma A biomarker is a substance produced by the body that indicates a biological process or condition. Most mesothelioma biomarkers … Continue reading Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy »

Opdivo as Second-Line Treatment Option for Mesothelioma: Promising New Data

second-line treatment option

A new study suggests that the cancer drug Opdivo could be an effective second-line treatment option for people with relapsed mesothelioma. Right now, people whose mesothelioma comes back after treatment do not have an approved second-line treatment option.  The news on Opdivo comes from the first ever placebo-controlled phase 3 trial of patients with relapsed mesothelioma. It shows that the drug significantly improved overall survival for these patients. It also increased the time it took for patients’ cancer to get worse. Details of the CONFIRM Trial The trial of this proposed second-line treatment option for mesothelioma was called CONFIRM. It involved 332 mesothelioma patients from 24 UK cancer centers. The patients already had at least one treatment. Two thirds of … Continue reading Opdivo as Second-Line Treatment Option for Mesothelioma: Promising New Data »

Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report

immunotherapy with Keytruda

  There’s more encouraging news about immunotherapy with Keytruda for people with pleural mesothelioma. The latest report comes from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  A doctor in the orthopaedic department at the school has malignant pleural mesothelioma. He and three colleagues recently published news of his “prompt and exceptionally favorable” response to firstline treatment with pembrolizumab.  Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Several studies suggest that adding immunotherapy with Keytruda to other mesothelioma treatments may improve outcomes.  But the new case report indicates that Keytruda could also be a good firstline option for some mesothelioma patients.  How Immunotherapy with Keytruda Works Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system against the cancer. … Continue reading Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report »

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York are about to try a new kind of CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma in human patients.  This is the first Phase I trial of the new CAR T-cell approach. The therapy involves removing some of a patient’s T-cells, modifying them, and giving them back to fight cancer.  The new CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma involves cells that have been modified in new ways. They still seek out cancer cells. But these CAR T-cells are made to last longer and to undermine a primary mesothelioma cell defense mechanism. The FDA approved the study in September. Memorial Sloan Kettering is recruiting mesothelioma patients for it now.  T-Cells That Target Mesothelioma Cells CART T-cell therapy … Continue reading CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial »