Swiss doctors have used a combination of photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy to dramatically shrink mesothelioma tumors in mice. More than a third of mice treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor and low-dose light therapy experienced complete regression of their cancer. The new study explores how photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy can work together. The answers could have important implications for tens of thousands of people suffering from asbestos cancer. Two Different Approaches to Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma occurs on the membrane around the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma. Around 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year. There is no cure. Photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy both show … Continue reading Photodynamic Therapy and Immunotherapy: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo?
A cutting edge treatment that uses light to kill cancer cells could soon be more widely available for mesothelioma patients. The makers of Photofrin (porfimer sodium), a drug used in photodynamic therapy, have filed for Orphan Drug designation with the FDA. An ‘orphan drug’ is classified as one developed to treat a disease affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans. Although orphan drugs must meet the same FDA standards as other drugs for safety and efficacy, their special classification can help move them to market sooner by offering tax incentives and relaxing some of the testing requirements, such as a the number of patients needed for clinical trials. Orphan drug designation for Photofrin could offer another treatment option for mesothelioma patients. Caused … Continue reading Light Treatment for Mesothelioma May Get Special Status
There is more evidence that Photodynamic Therapy may be a valuable adjuvant treatment for people undergoing mesothelioma surgery. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a light-based cancer treatment that uses a sensitizing drug and a light to destroy cancer cells several millimeters into the targeted tissue. Although it is not yet widely used for mesothelioma, PDT is considered particularly suitable for tumors on the mesothelium, which tend to be wide but not very deep. To test the effectiveness of PDT, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the surgical outcomes of 28 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma between 2004 and 2008. The patients were similar in age, sex, stage of disease and histological type of mesothelioma. Eighty-six percent of the patients were … Continue reading Light-Based Mesothelioma Treatment Shows Promise