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?