There has been a setback for researchers focused on the promise of pembrolizumab for mesothelioma. New research suggests that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may not be the miracle mesothelioma drug that some were hoping for. The Phase III trial results were presented at a the European Society of Medical Oncology conference now underway in Spain. They suggest that pembrolizumab for mesothelioma may be no better than chemotherapy for improving survival. Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma: How it Works Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare but lethal cancer. It is usually associated with on-the-job asbestos exposure. There is no cure. The only drug approved for mesothelioma treatment is Alimta (pemetrexed). Cancer researchers around the world are working hard to find other mesothelioma treatments. Pembrolizumab for … Continue reading Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma Dealt Setback by New Trial Results
New data suggests first-line Keytruda treatment helps lung cancer patients more than chemotherapy – even if chemotherapy patients add Keytruda later. The news is likely to have implications for people with pleural mesothelioma, too. German researchers presented the data earlier this week at the World Lung Cancer Conference in Barcelona. The presentation was based on three years of the KEYNOTE-024 trial. The trial focused on lung cancer. But Keytruda is also an up-and-coming drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer similar to non-small cell lung cancer. Blocking PD-L1 with First-Line Keytruda Treatment Keytruda is the brand name for pembrolizumab. It is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that blocks a protein called PD-L1. To be eligible for first-line … Continue reading First-Line Keytruda Treatment May Support Longer Mesothelioma Survival
There is new evidence that adding a drug called vorinostat to immunotherapy might help relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients. The new study comes from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. It focused on patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is similar to pleural mesothelioma in many ways. The study found that patients who received vorinostat along with an immune checkpoint inhibitor had better results. The findings could be good news for relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients, too. Different Immunotherapy Drugs Vorinostat is sold under the brand name Zolinza. It is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. HDAC inhibitors alter the way proteins are expressed inside cells. They also stimulate the immune system. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) like Keytruda also … Continue reading New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma?
A new kind of mesothelioma treatment called dendritic cell therapy might make other types of treatments even more effective. Right now, chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) is the only approved therapy for malignant mesothelioma. Many others are in the works. But so far, none of them extend the lives of mesothelioma patients by more than a few months. Dendritic cell therapy for mesothelioma may be different. This novel treatment uses the patient’s own cells to jumpstart the immune system. A Dutch company developed and is testing the new treatment. The data so far suggests that it could boost chemotherapy and help new drugs like Keytruda work better. How Dendritic Cell Therapy Works Dendritic cells are immune system cells that function as … Continue reading Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better?
The company that makes a promising new mesothelioma immunotherapy drug got a boost from a competitor’s study this week. The makers of the lung cancer drug Opdivo have released some disappointing results from their latest lung cancer trial. The findings present another setback for Bristol-Myers Squibb. But they are good news for Merck, the maker of the mesothelioma immunotherapy drug Keytruda. In the wake of the publication, Merck’s stocks rose while Bristol-Myers’ dropped. How Opdivo Works Opdivo is the brand name for nivolumab. It is a monoclonal antibody that blocks PD-1. PD-1 is a cell surface protein expressed by some lung cancer and mesothelioma tumors. An Australian study estimated that more than 72 percent of mesothelioma patients overexpress PD-1. Opdivo … Continue reading Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug Keytruda Gets a Boost from Opdivo Study
Patients with the rarest mesothelioma subtypes tend to experience shorter mesothelioma survival. Now, new mesothelioma research suggests that may have something to do with a protein called PD-L1. French researchers studied the PD-L1 levels in the tumors of 214 mesothelioma patients. They compared the levels with each patient’s subtype and their treatment outcome. The results may help explain cases of shorter mesothelioma survival, especially among patients with sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma subtypes. PD-L1 Levels and Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is one of the proteins that helps mesothelioma cells and other cancers “hide” from the immune system. Normally, the immune system finds and destroys renegade cells. But if a patient’s mesothelioma tumor expresses higher amount of PD-L1, … Continue reading Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Again Linked to Higher PD-L1 Levels
A new study suggests that drugs known as PARP inhibitors may enhance immunotherapy response in mesothelioma patients. According to a report published in the Journal of Clinical Investigations, PARP inhibitors worked especially well in cancers with mutations in their DNA repair genes. Some malignant mesothelioma patients have mutated DNA repair genes. In these patients, a PARP inhibitor may modify immunotherapy response, making drugs like Keytruda work better. How PARP Impacts Immunotherapy Response PARP stands for poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. It represents a family of proteins involved in a number of cellular processes, including DNA repair. PARP is also involved in apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Olaparib (Lynparza) is an example of a PARP inhibitor. PARP inhibitors attack tumors that already have … Continue reading PARP Inhibitors Could Enhance Immunotherapy Response in Mesothelioma
Researchers in Italy say it is possible to predict which mesothelioma patients are likely to develop thyroid disease after immunotherapy. They are advising their colleagues to use the technique for better management of malignant mesothelioma. Immune checkpoint inhibitors like Keytruda are improving the outlook for people with asbestos cancer. But immunotherapy is not without risk. Certain people are prone to develop thyroid disease after immunotherapy. If doctors know ahead of time which mesothelioma patients are at risk, they can be better prepared to manage problems later. Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors and Thyroid Disease after Immunotherapy Pleural mesothelioma is extremely difficult to treat. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have given many mesothelioma patients new hope. Recent studies suggest that some of these drugs … Continue reading Predicting Thyroid Disease After Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma
There is a new mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment in the works. This one is based on reducing the number of Tregs or regulatory T-cells around a mesothelioma tumor. Tregs are an important part of maintaining balance in the immune system. They help protect people against autoimmune diseases like MS and lupus. But in people with malignant mesothelioma and other types of cancer, too many Tregs can be a problem. Tregs respond to distress signals sent out by a tumor. They surround the tumor and protect it against attack from the immune system. The goal of mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment is to reactivate the immune system to fight the cancer. Developing a Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Molecular biologists at the National Cancer Institute and … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Reduces Tregs with Immunotoxin