Tag Archives: opdivo

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 »

Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020

breakthroughs in mesothelioma

In spite of a global pandemic, there were some major breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020 that made the year a hopeful one for people fighting asbestos cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious illness caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  Mesothelioma is still not curable. But researchers have made major breakthroughs in mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment this year.  Mesothelioma Treatment Advances Mesothelioma treatment saw the biggest breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020. The FDA approved the first systemic treatment for mesothelioma since 2004. That was the year that Alimta (pemetrexed) received approval.  They approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. Yervoy helps activate and proliferate T-cells. Opdivo helps existing T-cells discover the mesothelioma  tumor. The patients who … Continue reading Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020 »

Cholesterol Drugs Extend Mesothelioma Survival in New Study

cholesterol drugs

Cholesterol drugs called statins have been shown to improve survival among mesothelioma patients taking PD-1 inhibitors.  The news comes from an international study from cancer researchers in Italy and the Netherlands.  More than 250 patients with pleural mesothelioma or non-small cell lung cancer were evaluated for the study. Researchers found that those who took cholesterol drugs while also receiving PD-1 blockers like Keytruda lived longer and had slower disease progression.  Mesothelioma Patients and Statins The body needs some cholesterol to build healthy cells. But many adults have too much cholesterol in their blood. This can lead to fatty deposits in the arteries that raise the risk for heart disease and stroke.  Cholesterol drugs called statins are designed to bring cholesterol … Continue reading Cholesterol Drugs Extend Mesothelioma Survival in New Study »

T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma

new drug combination for mesothelioma

A month after the FDA approved a new drug combination for pleural mesothelioma, scientists are discovering more about who might benefit the most from this treatment.  A new report in EBioMedicine suggests that the success of the new drug combination for mesothelioma depends on the presence and activation of special immune system cells. Researchers in the Netherlands found that patients with enough of the right kind of T-cells had the best results. The findings could help doctors screen out mesothelioma patients who are less likely to benefit.  The Long-Awaited New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma  The two medicines in the new drug combination for mesothelioma are nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy).  The FDA approved a mix of the two immunotherapy drugs … Continue reading T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma »

New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma Wins FDA Approval

New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma

The FDA has approved a new drug combination for mesothelioma. It is the first systemic treatment for mesothelioma to win FDA approval in 16 years.  The combination includes a pair of immunotherapy drugs that complement each other. Both drugs are immune checkpoint inhibitors. They are approved to treat people with inoperable pleural mesothelioma.  “Today’s approval of nivolumab plus ipilimumab provides a new treatment that has demonstrated an improvement in overall survival for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma,” says Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. New Treatment Options Needed Pleural mesothelioma is a virulent cancer of the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Asbestos exposure is usually the trigger. Many countries have banned asbestos. In the US, … Continue reading New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma Wins FDA Approval »

“Exceptional Survival” in Some Patients on Nivolumab for Mesothelioma

nivolumab for mesothelioma

A real-world study of Dutch patients suggests that nivolumab for mesothelioma can dramatically extend survival in the right patients.  Nivolumab is sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is a type of immunotherapy. It works by making cancer cells more vulnerable to attack. The FDA approved nivolumab to treat non-small cell lung cancer and some other cancers.  It is still in the testing phase for malignant mesothelioma. The new report suggests that careful patient selection is the key to making nivolumab for mesothelioma work.  Why Nivolumab for Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by past exposure to asbestos. Like other types of cancer, it has ways of protecting itself from immune system attack. A protein called PD-L1 is … Continue reading “Exceptional Survival” in Some Patients on Nivolumab for Mesothelioma »

Non-Epithelioid Mesothelioma: Immunotherapy Combo Could be the New Standard of Care

Two immunotherapy drugs could become the new standard of care for people with non-epithelioid mesothelioma.  All forms of malignant mesothelioma are deadly. But people with a non-epithelioid mesothelioma subtype are less likely to respond to standard treatments. Their variety of mesothelioma is especially resistant to chemotherapy with cisplatin and Alimta. This has been the mainstay of pleural mesothelioma treatment since 2004. But a new trial shows two immunotherapy drugs extended mesothelioma survival better than chemotherapy. This could be especially good news for patients with non-epithelioid mesothelioma.  Checkpoint Inhibitors for Mesothelioma Most people with pleural mesothelioma start with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can often extend life by a few months. It is most beneficial for patients with epithelioid mesothelioma. But this approach does … Continue reading Non-Epithelioid Mesothelioma: Immunotherapy Combo Could be the New Standard of Care »

Opdivo for Mesothelioma Recurrence is Safe and Effective, Study Finds

Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence

A new Japanese study appears to show that Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence after surgery is safe and effective.  Opdivo (nivolumab) is an immunotherapy drug similar to Keytruda (pembrolizumab). It blocks a protein called PD-L1. PD-L1 helps mesothelioma cells avoid detection by the immune system.  In the latest study, 35 patients received Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence. More than three quarters of them experienced either stable or decreased disease. Understanding How Nivolumab Works Nivolumab is most often used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. It makes tumors more vulnerable to immune system attack. Pleural mesothelioma has many of the same characteristics as lung cancer. This is one reason researchers are hopeful about Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence.  The primary treatment for mesothelioma is … Continue reading Opdivo for Mesothelioma Recurrence is Safe and Effective, Study Finds »

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 »