A drug approved to treat skin cancer has produced what researchers are calling “unprecedented” control of malignant pleural mesothelioma. As announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research which met in Philadelphia in April, pembrolizumab either stopped tumor growth or even reversed it in more than three quarters of the mesothelioma patients tested. Pembrolizumab (brand name Keytruda) is a monoclonal antibody designed to block a cell surface receptor called PD-1. As part of a phase 1B clinical trial known as KEYNOTE-028, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania gave the drug to 25 mesothelioma patients between March and December 2014. These patients all had tumors that tested positive for PD-1 expression. Most had already been through at … Continue reading Skin Cancer Drug Produces Exceptional Results in New Mesothelioma Trial
Mesothelioma patients at risk for a serious treatment complication called procedure tract metastasis (PTM) may face a more promising prognosis when the results of a new clinical trial are in. Many mesothelioma patients undergo some type of interventional therapy, such as surgery or drainage of excess lung fluid. Unfortunately, any time an instrument is introduced into the chest of a patient with mesothelioma, there is a risk that the patient will develop new tumors along the path of the incision or catheter tract. These PTMs can not only be painful but they can also accelerate the progression of mesothelioma and make treatment more complicated. Now, a group of researchers in Great Britain have launched a new trial to determine whether giving patients some radiotherapy at the site … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Trial: Radiation for Prevention?
An oral leukemia medicine doctor’s had hoped might help certain mesothelioma patients won’t be moving on to the next level of clinical trials. Phase II drug trials use human subject to determine a drug’s safe dose and measure its effectiveness. In Phase II trials of dasatinib, a drug currently used for leukemia patients that have failed other treatments, mesothelioma researchers found the medicine had “no activity” and was too toxic to justify its use. Caused by exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma is challenging to treat and effective therapies are limited. Because of dasatinib’s success as a second-line treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia, doctors reasoned that it might help patients with inoperable mesothelioma. In the study to test this hypothesis, 46 mesothelioma patients were … Continue reading Leukemia Drug Fails Mesothelioma Trial