Tag Archives: keytruda

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 »

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 »

Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Results May Be Skewed by Narrow Inclusion Criteria

mesothelioma clinical trial results

Australian researchers say too many mesothelioma clinical trial results are skewed because they do not include enough “real world” patients.   By “real world patients”, they mean those who fit the profile of the typical mesothelioma patient. The researchers say some of the most important trials limit enrollment to younger people or those with few other health problems.  They say that leaves out a lot of patients. It also makes mesothelioma clinical trial results less relevant in practice.  How Clinical Trials Work Scientists typically test proposed new mesothelioma treatments on isolated cells in a lab first. If the results look promising, they will then run tests in animals to make sure the treatment is safe.   Before a medicine receives approval for … Continue reading Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Results May Be Skewed by Narrow Inclusion Criteria »

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 »

Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma Dealt Setback by New Trial Results

pembrolizumab for mesothelioma

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 »

First-Line Keytruda Treatment May Support Longer Mesothelioma Survival

first-line Keytruda treatment

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 »

New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma?

relapsed pleural mesothelioma

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? »

Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better?

dendritic cell therapy for 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? »