Immunotherapy represents the newest weapon in the fight against malignant mesothelioma, and a recently completed phase III clinical trial has given researchers significant reason for optimism. According to a press release issued by Bristol Myers Squibb, a combination of Nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) provided significantly improved overall survival over chemotherapy in patients whose tumors were previously untreated.
Malignant Mesothelioma Patients See Improved Results with Immunotherapy Drugs
According to an independent panel, when compared to a chemotherapy treatment of pemetrexed (Alimta) combined with either cisplatin or carboplatin, malignant mesothelioma patients treated with the immunotherapy treatment showed a significantly longer period of overall survival.
Speaking of the results, Bristol Myers Squibb’s Sabine Maier, MD, development lead, thoracic cancers, said, “Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a devastating disease that has seen limited treatment advances over the past decade. These topline results from the CheckMate -743 trial demonstrate the potential of Opdivo plus Yervoy in previously untreated patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, and is another example of the established efficacy and safety of the dual immunotherapy combination seen in multiple tumor types.”
Study Randomized Mesothelioma Patients Into Groups Getting Chemotherapy and Those Getting Immunotherapy
Those mesothelioma patients receiving chemotherapy received the standard Alimta/chemotherapy treatment protocol, while those receiving immunotherapy were provided with nivolumab at a dose of 3 mg/kg every two weeks and ipilumumab at a dose of 1 mg/kg every six weeks. The study examined disease control rate, progression free survival and efficacy as well as overall survival.
“We would like to thank the patients who participated in this trial, as well as the investigators and site personnel for their perseverance during the conduct of this study and in delivering this important result for patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with investigators to present the results at a future medical meeting, and to discussing them with health authorities,” added Maier.
Patient diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are constantly looking for new treatments and developments in the fight against the disease. If you have an asbestos-related disease and need information, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.