Chemotherapy & Immunotherapy – Treatment Details – France
Immunotherapy has been tested in mesothelioma for many years. The hope is that the patient’s own immune system can help manage the disease.
This was one of the first clinical trials that looked at whether immunotherapy would be effective in mesothelioma. It was done in France at the Department of Pneumology, Center Hospitalier Intercommunal de Creteil. The study was performed before 2002. The researchers wanted to find out if intrapleurally infused autologous human activated macrophages would help control the cancer.
They also gave the patients gamma-interferon (gamma-IFN). Gamma-IFN is a substance in the blood that provides immunity against viral, bacterial and protozoal infections. The researchers measured if there was a response. A response is where the tumor actually gets smaller. They used CT scan and thoracoscopy to check on the tumor size and see if it got smaller after treatment. If the treatment didn’t work then the researchers would allow the patient to receive chemo if their doctor agreed.
Nineteen patients received the treatment and ten patients were also given chemo. The best result was one patient who was still alive without any mesothelioma a full 69 months after treatment.
Patients: This Phase II study involved 17 patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Many of the patients had undergone “preventive radiotherapy.”
Treatment: The treatment consisted of a type of immunotherapy – administration of intrapleurally infused autologous human activated macrophages (a type of blood cell) followed by intrapleural injection of gamma-interferon (a type of protein). After completion of this therapy, ten patients were treated with chemotherapy (primarily cisplatin (platinol) and mitomycin (mitozytrex)).
Toxicity: Toxicities included grade 2 or 3 thoracic pain after injection, fever, and alkaline phosphatases.
Results: The median survival of all treated patients was 29.2 months.
Correspondence: Manuel Lopez, MD
See all conventional treatment results for mesothelioma.