Mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of cancer, and it is also one of the most frustrating. The disease has an extremely long latency period, only making itself known decades after patients were exposed to asbestos, and by the time its symptoms arise physicians have few options for effective treatment. The most common approach is the use of chemotherapy, but even that has limited use. But Australian researchers analyzing the various clinical trials that have been conducted in the last few years have concluded that the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy holds the greatest promise for improved outcomes.
Researchers Say the “Next Frontier” in Mesothelioma Treatment is Chemoimmunotherapy
Chemoimmunotherapy is what collaborative team from the University of Western Australia is calling the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Though a combination of the chemotherapy drugs Alimta and cisplatin has long been the standard protocol for mesothelioma patients, it has offered no hope for survival, only extending patients’ lives by a few months. There has been hope for immunotherapy treatment, but that by itself has also proven disappointing.
In an article published in the journal Expert Opinions in Biological Therapy, the group analyzed the results of clinical trials conducted between 2016 and 2018, and determined that the most promising results that have been seen came from combining the two treatment approaches.
Boosting the Immune System While Killing Mesothelioma Cells
Though there is still a tremendous amount of research to be done, the Australian researchers concluded that using immunotherapy to boost the response of the immune system while at the same time allowing chemotherapy to kill existing mesothelioma cancer cells seems to provide the greatest potential for extending patient survival.
Finding a cure for mesothelioma is a goal for researchers, physicians and patients alike, but until that is realized patients diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease need information to help them with their current reality. For information on the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.