A new form of immunotherapy using a patient’s own cells is making headlines this month after a new study shows it may help some people with advanced lung cancer. Like pleural mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer is a virulent form of cancer that is hard to treat. Even the newest immunotherapy drugs have had only moderate success. The new form of immunotherapy is the subject of an article in the journal Nature Medicine. It details the hopeful results of patients in a small Phase I pilot trial of the treatment. If it is proven to work for lung cancer, it could be good news for mesothelioma patients, too. Giving Immune Cells a Boost Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are immune cells. They … Continue reading Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help?
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
A new report from Japanese doctors shows that asbestos affects immunity. It may help explain why exposure to asbestos can trigger mesothelioma. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma worldwide. But doctors still do not know for sure how this fibrous mineral causes cancer. Scientists know that inflammation and irritation have something to do with mesothelioma development. But they still do not know much about how asbestos affects immunity. Asbestos and Mesothelioma Development Asbestos is a silicate mineral that lies deep in the ground. For decades, people mined asbestos for use in various industries. Nearly every building in the US built before the mid-1980s contains some asbestos. But asbestos is also a carcinogen. Even small amounts of asbestos exposure … Continue reading Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds
Immunotherapy, which involves reprogramming T-cells to find and attack cancer cells, is one of the fastest-growing areas of cancer research. One of the biggest challenges of immunotherapy is how to harness the power of T-cells against cancer without also turning them against healthy cells. A new study conducted in Switzerland and published in the Journal of Translational Medicine addressed the problem by reprogramming T-cells to recognize and attack mesothelioma cells that express a specific protein. Fibroblast Activation Protein (FAP) is expressed on the surface of tumor-associated fibroblast cells which are found in the connective tissue of mesothelioma tumors. FAP is also found in mesothelioma cells and may play a role in the start of cancer, as well as the growth … Continue reading Mesothelioma Study Finds New Treatment Target
Mesothelioma patients whose T-cell counts bounce back quickly after a round of chemotherapy have a better chance of survival. They are also most likely to benefit from the addition of immunotherapy. That’s the conclusion of a British study looking for prognostic indicators in mesothelioma patients undergoing a combination of chemotherapy. Noting that there is increased interest in pairing chemotherapy with immunotherapy, the group was also looking for a method of determining who would benefit most from the combination. Chemotherapy is the most common first-line treatment for mesothelioma. It involves flooding the body with a drug or combination of drugs designed to destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy involves “programming” the immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign invaders and attack them the … Continue reading T-Cells Can Predict Mesothelioma Treatment Success
Cancer researchers in Australia are harnessing the power of disease-fighting T-cells in the ongoing battle with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer of the membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the abdomen. The response of the body’s immune system to mesothelioma and other cancers is complex. Mesothelioma tumors in mice and people produce large numbers of Regulatory (Treg) T cells. While Treg cells are typically thought of as one of the body’s ways of fighting disease, the latest research suggests that, in some cases, turning these cells ‘off’ might be more effective against cancer than letting them do their job. In the newest study of Treg cells, they were shown to act as important “mediators” of the body’s anti-tumor … Continue reading Harnessing T-Cells to Fight Mesothelioma